European Social Policy

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Stephen Mangen OLD2.62


This course is available on the BSc in Environmental Policy, BSc in Environmental Policy with Economics, BSc in International Relations, BSc in Social Policy, BSc in Social Policy and Criminology, BSc in Social Policy and Economics, BSc in Social Policy and Sociology and BSc in Social Policy with Government. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Available to fourth year BA European Studies students at King's College.

Please note that second year students considering taking this course are encouraged to discuss their application with the course teacher before formally selecting it.

Course content

A cross-national analysis of the development of European welfare states in their political, social and economic contexts. The first part of the course traces the emergence and subsequent evolution of collective social provisions from the last quarter of the nineteenth-century. After reviewing contemporary welfare state formations among the member states, attention turns to the growing social policy competences at EU level. In the second part, lectures and classes focus on current processes of national and EU policy-making and implementation in the context of contemporary issues in social policy; demographic trends and the planning of welfare; the fiscal crisis and the funding of social security; health care; social exclusion; women and the welfare state; regenerating EU labour markets; urban problems.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour of classes in the ST.

Indicative reading

No one book covers the whole course. A detailed graduated reading list will be available at the beginning of the session.

Some introductory texts are: L Hantrais, Social Policy in the EU, Macmillan (3rd edn); M Kleinman, A European Welfare State? EU Social Policy in Context, Palgrave; A Cochrane & J Clarke, Comparing Welfare States, Sage; Esping-Andersen, The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, Polity, Chapters 1-3.


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2012/13: 3

Average class size 2012/13: 10

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information