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Archived Curricula Guide 2015–2017
Curricula Guide is archieved. Please refer to current Curricula Guides
COSOPR6 Political Dynamics of Social Policy-Making in Select Fields 5 ECTS
Organised by
MDP in Comparative Social Policy and Welfare
Person in charge
Margitta Mätzke, JKU

Learning outcomes

This course provides students with in-depth knowledge into the actual politics of welfare policy-making in select social policy fields. The focus of attention is on political processes and the political institutions that structure those processes in select social policy fields. The class has an explicitly comparative outlook, examining differences in the political processes across countries.


Students will observe institutions, organizations, decision-making procedures, and actors “at work”, when they produce social policy decisions, act (or function) within the arenas of their respective political environments, and interact with one another. This will also convey an understanding of the relationship between the various formal institutional setups that exist at national and supranational levels and the actual political dynamics taking place within these frameworks. The course addresses issues of political feasibility, prospects for policy innovation, considerations of the “political cost” of alternative courses of action, possible points of contention over certain social policy issues and the danger of reform gridlock and political stagnation.
The specific policy field or substantive focus of attention of this course is variable. The class will focus either on health policy, or on pension policy, or on disability policy, or on social policy-making in supranational arenas, such as the European Union.

Teaching language


Modes of study

Option 1
Available for:
  • Degree Programme Students
  • Other Students
  • Open University Students
  • Doctoral Students
  • Exchange Students
Participation in course work 
In English

Introductory lectures during Intensive Programme in Linz, afterwards discussion boards and tutoring supported by Moodle and individual studies of the theoretical literature and other sources of course. Final essay.

Evaluation and evaluation criteria

Numeric 1-5.
Cumulative grade: 70% final paper and 30% participation in the discussions.

Study materials

Course materials will be provided by the instructor.

Belongs to following study modules

School of Social Sciences and Humanities
School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Archived Teaching Schedule. Please refer to current Teaching Shedule.
School of Social Sciences and Humanities