Comparative analysis of social policy

This course aims to promote students' understanding of social policy and practice in other countries especially across EU countries. The differentiation of levels of social protection are described analytically within the meaning of the different pursuit of each welfare system, which had been developed during the 20th century. The course stimulates an in-depth discussion of the differences between approaches of welfare state. It presents important questions such as, under which conditions do larger welfare states reduce poverty. 

Course outline:

  1. Basic principles and methods of comparative analysis
  2. Classifications of welfare states/ social protection systems
  3. Critical and alternative classifications of welfare states 
  4. Critically assess how specific social policy areas such as health care, education, and care in the community are addressed by different states
  5. Common pressures and different answers of different welfare regimes


  • Esping-Andersen, Gøsta (1990). The three worlds of welfare capitalism. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
  • Kennet, P. (ed.) (2013), A Handbook of Comparative Social Policy, Edward Elgar, 2nd Edition, UK.
  • Ferrera M. (1996), ‘The ‘Southern Model’ of welfare in Social Europe’. Journal of European Social Policy, 6, 17-37.
  • McEwen, N. and Moreno, L.(eds) (2005), The Territorial Politics of Welfare,London, Routledge.
  • Pfaller, A., Gough, I. and Therborn, G. (1991) Can the Welfare State Compete? A Comparative Study of Five Advanced Capitalist Countries. London: Macmillan.
  • Pierson, C. (1995) Comparing Welfare States. West European Politics, 18(1), 197-203. 
  • Sainsbury, D. (1994) Gendering Welfare States. London: Sage.
  • Therborn, G. (1993) “Beyond the Lonely Nation-State”. In F.G. Castles (ed.), Families of Nations: patterns of public policy in Western democracies. Aldershot: Dartmouth.
  • Torben I, Capitalism, Democracy and Welfare, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Secretariat code
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