Master of International Affairs   Master of Public Policy   Master of Data Science for Public Policy  

Welfare states in transition

This course is jointly taught with Sciences Po Paris, under the framework of CIVICA, the European University of the Social Sciences. Students from both universities will be enrolled.

Welfare states in advanced industrial democracies have faced transformative change over the last three decades. As economies have moved from manufacturing to service-sector jobs, the role of financial services has risen and the knowledge economy has started to embrace automation and digital tools. The role of work and the protection of citizens has started to change. In this course, we will look at these transformative changes through the perspective of the political economy. We will show and analyse how closely the welfare state is intertwined with the economic system of particular countries and how governments have used the potential of the welfare state to reboost growth and job creation. We will first investigate these relationships from a conceptual and theoretical angle. In the second part of the course, we will focus on four key policy fields of the welfare state: Wages and employment, skills, housing and pensions. Students will become experts in the literature of the advanced welfare state and comparative political economy. They will dive deeper into one policy field and research it using comparative case studies. The course provides analytical insights into the different ways of how capitalist political economies are organised today. It also provides students with an in-depth understanding of the institutions governing political economies.

The course is divided into two parts: The first part introduces the concept of institutional analysis, covering the theories of the political economy of the welfare state and giving an overview of different types of adjustment. In the second part, we go deeper into policy fields such as skills, labour markets, housing and pensions.

This course is for 2nd year MIA, MPP and MDS students only.