This course attempts to analyse the path of institutional development of the Welfare State in Europe and Greece in the 20th century. This institutional development is not explained solely as an outcome of a linear historical development of social policies; Rather the focus is placed on this process as an outcome of the way in which European states have dealt with the economic and political crises of the 20th century. More specifically, the analysis will focus on the policy tools that European states have devised or reshaped to cope with the consequences of crises. In addition, it will be examined in each case what were the factors that determined the choices of social policy, and how the latter were influenced by the institutional heritage of each state, the ideological characteristics of the political forces and the economic and social interests. Emphasis will finally be placed on the link between social policy and the wider matrix of public policies, and how this link has influenced the content of social policy in each historical period, depending on the position of each state in the international economic system.