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Social Policy, Welfare State and Civil Society in Europe



Donnerstag, 14-16 Uhr

How can social inclusion be realized in Europe? What are the main challenges for the future of European welfare states? To what extent have civil society actors been involved in welfare state development and how do they influence debates on social policy in the European Union? This course will address these and many other questions. It aims at providing an introduction to the current debates on welfare states and social policy in Europe. Special attention will be paid to the nexus of social policy and civil society development. The course is divided into three parts. In the first part we will learn about the evolvement of welfare state regimes and reform trajectories in the countries of the European Union. We will discuss the different pathways of welfare state development, reform trends and debates about current challenges. The second part of the course is devoted to the comparative analysis of social policy. We will focus on housing, health and labour participation as key issues of social policy in Europe. In the discussion we will compare social policies in different European countries. In the third part of the course, we will discuss the functions of civil society with regard to welfare state development and reform in Europe. We will look into the roles of civil society organizations (CSOs) as social service providers and advocates for social policy reforms. Furthermore, we will pay attention to CSOs in so-called welfare partnerships and in the co-production of social services. The course will be concluded by a simulation exercise, focusing on a current social policy topic. The course is designed for students in the BA Political Science or related programmes. The course language is English to allow for the participation of exchange students. During the course, students can choose between different forms of oral or written assignments, e.g. input presentations, summaries or the moderation of group discussions. Student can also bring in their own ideas regarding country case studies and policy issues. Written assignments (“schriftliche Ausarbeitungen” or „Hausarbeiten“) can be submitted in English or German. The course literature will be announced and made available at the start of the semester.

SFB 700