Local Government and Social Policy

This course examines the contribution of local administration bodies in social protection. Local governance contribute to the practice of social policy. When considering their specific operating framework, a number of important questions arise vis-à-vis the role of local administration: in the organization of state functions, in systems of social protection, in the functioning of social welfare provisions, in the arrangement of social policy interventions and more. Exploring the importance of the sub-national level in social policy is the central aspect of this course. Issues pertaining to the design and implementation of actions and social policy provisions, are discussed  in light of the dynamic relationship between the sub-national, national and supranational levels. The course examines the possibilities and limitations, as well as the advantages and weaknesses of  local government  in the field of social policy, while focusing on the prospect of new international cooperations, and the aspiration toward shared goals at the national and supranational levels (at the EU level in particular). Discussion on practical implementations will focus on the European states, while more elaborate references will be made to the Greek case.

Course outline:

  1. Perspectives on the development of administrative institutions at the local level, taxonomies of the decentralized competencies of social protection systems. Perspectives on the contemporary role of local administration. 
  2. The contribution of the principle of subsidiarity to local social policies. 
  3. The conditions for creating sub-national social protection policies, and institutions of sub-national organization in the context of the European Union.
  4. The role of administration in national actions, the role of supranational institutions in the organization of social protection mechanisms at the sub-national level. 
  5. Features of social protection mechanisms at the sub-national level. The linking of administrative bodies, to interventions by the central state. 
  6. The institutional arrangement of the sub-national level in Greece, first and second degrees of administration. The role of the state and regional management. 
  7. The implementation of social policy programs at the sub-national level in Greece, social protection programs in EU countries. 


Standard in greek

  • Georgandas, E. (2002), Local state and locality. On the trail the two discussions, Saki Karagiorga Foundation. 
  • Skamnakis Ch. (2006) Role of local government in social policy, Gutenberg.


  • Amin, A. and Thrift, N. (2002) Cities: Reimagining the Urban. Oxford: Polity.
  • Castles, F. (2005) The Future of the Welfare State: Crisis Myths and Crisis Realities. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Griggs, J., Whitworth, A., Walker, R., McLennan, D.,and Noble, M. (2008) Person- or place- based policies to tackle disadvantage?: Not knowing what works. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • Kazepov,Y. (2005) 'Cities of Europe: changing contexts, local arrangements and the challenge to social cohesion', Blackwell Publishing.
  • Kazepov, Y. (2008), The subsidiarization of social policies: actors, processes and impacts. Some reflections of the Italian case from a European perspective” European Societies, 10,2: 247-73
  • Loughlin, J. (2005). ‘The regional question, subsidiarity and the future of Europe’, in S. Weatherill and U. Bernitz (eds.), The Role of Regions and Sub-national Actors in the European Union, Oxford: Hart.
  • Room, G (2008), «Multi-tiered international welfare systems», in Gough, I. and G. Wood,(eds) Insecurity and Welfare Regimes in Asia, Africa and Latin America,Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Secretariat code