A Future for the Welfare State? Social Change, Challenge and Crisis - SA503

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19 2019-20
(version 2)
Autumn and Spring
View Timetable
6 30 (15) DR T Haux




Stage 3 students only



Welfare states face many challenges in the contemporary world. This course takes a comparative approach by systematically analysing key fields to show how a variety of countries have identified and tackled problems of social policy. It starts with a consideration of theoretical frameworks but most of the course is directed at consideration of welfare issues in different countries and to specific topics: globalisation, migration, population ageing, disability, the cuts and so on. In this way, the student is provided with a systematic overview of some of the main areas in which international and national social policy agendas co evolve. It is intended for students of social policy, social work, and social sciences.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

22 weekly lectures and seminars, each of an hour


Available 2016/17.

Method of assessment

50% coursework (2 essays of 1,500-2,000 words plus a seminar presentation) and 50% 3-hour written examination (Summer term)

Preliminary reading

Yeates, N. & Holden, C. (2009) (ed.) The Global Social Policy Reader, the Policy Press.
Farnsworth and Irving, Z. (2011) Social Policy in Challenging Times, Polity Press.
Taylor-Gooby P (2009) Reforming Social Citizenship, Oxford University Press
Castles, F, Leibfried, S, Lewis J., Obinger, H and Pierson, C (2010) The Oxford Handbook of the Welfare State, Oxford, OUP.
Esping-Anderson, G (1990) The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. Cambridge Policy Press.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

Virtually all industrialised and post-industrialised countries in Europe, North and South America, the former Soviet nations and East Asia have developed welfare states. Now the welfare state is everywhere under attack. This course will enable you to understand why welfare states have developed and what makes a difference to them. It will also introduce the key concepts and theories. It will equip you to think critically about one oif the most important institutions in advancing social justice between social classes, women and men and ethnic groups in the advanced world.

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