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Archived teaching schedules 2018–2019
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COSOPC2 Welfare State Theories 5 ECTS
Period I Period II Period II 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

This course enables students to work with the terminology, empirical categorizations, theoretical concepts, and explanatory approaches of comparative and European welfare state development at an advanced level.
After completing the course, students will be equipped with conceptual knowledge and argumentative skills necessary for advanced research of welfare systems.

General description

The class first discusses core values of modern welfare states and key concepts facilitating descriptive comparisons. It then looks at the institutional manifestations of these different principles and briefly revisits welfare state typologies as major approach in comparative welfare state analysis, their promise, underlying theoretical ideas, and the potential hazards of this kind of theorizing. Then it turns to explanations of welfare state development and differences among modern welfare regimes.
Explanatory theories in the comparative welfare state literature:
1. Functionalism and explanations in terms of the great socio-economic trends (Modernization, Industrialization and Deindustrialization, Globalization, Demographic Change)
2. Interests and conflicts: Power Resource approaches and theories about partisan public policy
3. Institutionalism and its various strands: Institutional self-interest and top-down social policy-making, veto points and veto players, varieties of welfare capitalism, retrenchment and path dependency
4. Ideational analysis in welfare state studies: The role of ideas, culture, religion, and ideology
5. "Varieties of Welfare Capitalism" as modern Political-Economy approach in the comparative welfare state literature
6. The role of the state in the welfare state, and social policy as a tool for social discipline

Enrolment for University Studies

Enrolment time has expired


Tobias Wiss, Teacher responsible


4-Feb-2019 – 31-May-2019
Lectures 6 hours
Mon 4-Feb-2019 at 13-16, Linna 5026
Tue 5-Feb-2019 at 9-12, Linna 6017


Numeric 1-5.

Further information

Introductory lectures during the intensive programme in Tampere in the beginning of February 2019. Afterwards the course continues in the on-line learning environment Moodle.

This course is aimed for the degree students of the COSOPO programme. In addition, 8 Master level Social Policy students can be accepted to the course.