x !
Arkistoitu opetussuunnitelma 2017–2019
Selaamasi opetussuunnitelma ei ole enää voimassa. Tarkista tiedot voimassa olevasta opetussuunnitelmasta.
COSOPC1 Theories of Welfare States and Comparative Social Policy: An introduction 5 op
Organised by
MDP in Comparative Social Policy and Welfare
Person in charge
Corresponding course units in the curriculum
Yhteiskunta- ja kulttuuritieteiden yksikkö
Curricula 2015 – 2017


Strategic themes: Internationalisation

General description

Historical development of social policy. Contemporary social policy. Theorizing and researching social policy and welfare. Social policy themes. Theories and typologies of European welfare state regimes. Origins and political ideas of welfare states. Characteristics of various types of welfare states.

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to give students the opportunity to gain insight into the theoretical, ideological and historical framework of social policy and welfare provisions in Europe. By providing an in-depth analysis of social policy developments, this course furthers understanding of welfare reform trajectories in Europe. Students will be equipped with the skills necessary for advanced research, to analyse applied social policies:
- to identify the theoretical underpinnings of social policy;
- to describe the historical, ideological and political context in which social policy has developed in European welfare states;
- to critically analyse all the key areas of social policy;
- to explore the changing contemporary context of social policy in the European Union.
- to understand and reflect different theories and typologies of welfare states regimes.


This course provides a historical overview of the development of social policy in European welfare states. Secondly, it describes contemporary aspects of providing welfare. Thirdly, it provides some of the theoretical background to understanding social policy and welfare provisions - philosophically, ideologically and methodologically. Fourthly, it provides an overview and examination of the key areas of social policy and welfare services. Fifthly, the course tries to answer following questions: what are the main characteristics of different types of European welfare states and what are substantial similarities and differences between the various welfare state regimes.

Teaching language


Modes of study

Option 1
Available for:
  • Degree Programme Students
  • Other Students
  • Open University Students
  • Doctoral Students
  • Exchange Students
Written exam  5 ECTS
In English
Numeric 1-5. 
Participation in course work 
In English

Introductory lecture + literature exam.


Numeric 1-5.

Study materials

1. Baldock, John; Manning, Nicholas; Vickerstaff, Sarah. (eds.). 2007. Social policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2. Esping-Andersen, Gøsta. 1991. The three worlds of welfare capitalism. N.Y.: Princeton Univ. Press.

3. Pierson, Christopher; Castles, Francis. (eds.). 2006. The welfare state Reader. Cambridge: Polity Press.

4. Spicker, Paul. 2008. Social policy: themes and approaches. Bristol: Policy Press.

Belongs to following study modules

Yhteiskuntatieteiden tiedekunta
Yhteiskuntatieteiden tiedekunta
Yhteiskuntatieteiden tiedekunta
Archived Teaching Schedule. Please refer to current Teaching Shedule.
Yhteiskuntatieteiden tiedekunta