EU453      Half Unit
The Political Economy of European Welfare States

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Waltraud Schelkle CBG 6.01

Availability

This course is available on the MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MPA in Social Impact, MSc in European and International Public Policy, MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Bocconi), MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Human Resources and Organisations (International Employment Relations and Human Resource Management), MSc in Political Economy of Europe, MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Political Science and Political Economy and MSc in The Global Political Economy of China and Europe (LSE and Fudan). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Pre-requisites

None

Course content

The aim of the course is to apply concepts of economics and political economy to social policies in European welfare states. The lectures establish the theoretical context, summarise the findings of quantitative case studies and discuss European experience in the context of broader international experience. The seminars will further develop political-economic concepts, such as market and government failure, and apply them to qualitative case studies of welfare state arrangements in member states, considering in particular the role of social policy legislation and coordination at the EU level. The course will provide students with the conceptual and empirical background to enable them to answer questions such as: What does economic theory and political economy tell us about the design of welfare states? How do social policies in European welfare states reconcile equity and efficiency? What drives or stalls reform dynamics in member states? Is the EU gradually developing into a social union, through international mobility and the portability of social entitlements?

Teaching

10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT. 1 hour of lectures and 3 hours of seminars in the ST.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

One individual formative essay of 1,500 words. 

Indicative reading

Barr, N. (2012) The Economics of the Welfare State, 5th ed., Oxford: Oxford UP; Pierson P.(ed) (2001) The New Politics of the welfare state, Oxford: Oxford University Press;

Assessment

Essay (25%, 2000 words) in the MT.
Online assessment (75%) in the ST.

The online assessment for this course will be administered via Moodle.  A review session will take place in Week 1 of the ST in preparation for this assessment.  Assessment questions will be made available via Moodle in Week 2 of the ST.  Students will answer 2 of 8 questions.  Answers to questions will be submitted in Week 5 of the ST.

Key facts

Department: European Institute

Total students 2018/19: 52

Average class size 2018/19: 14

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills