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Archived teaching schedules 2018–2019
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COSOPC1 Theories of Welfare States and Comparative Social Policy: An introduction 5 ECTS
Period I Period II Period III Period IV
Language of instruction
Type or level of studies
Advanced studies
Course unit descriptions in the curriculum
MDP in Comparative Social Policy and Welfare
Faculty of Social Sciences

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.

General description

This course provides

- a historical overview of the development of social policy in European welfare states

- describtion of contemporary aspects of providing welfare

- some of the theoretical background to understanding social policy and welfare provisions - philosophically, ideologically and methodologically.

- an overview and examination of the key areas of social policy and welfare services

In addition, the course aims 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.

The course includes introductory lectures during intensive period in Vilnius and a book exam. The examination dates will be annouced in September.


Dainius Bernotas, Teacher responsible


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.