GI414      Half Unit
Theorising Gender and Social Policy

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Professor Wendy Sigle, Pankurst House.11.01D


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities. This course is available on the MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Columbia), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Hertie), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and NUS), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Sciences Po), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Tokyo), 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 Gender (Sexuality), MSc in Social Policy (Research) and Master of Public Administration. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course aims to equip students with an understanding of how feminist scholars use theoretical and analytic concepts to engage with social policy issues and debates.  The course provides an overview of mainstream theoretical explanations for the structure and evolution of social policies, and feminist critiques and modifications of that literature.  Students will develop an understanding of how key concepts like citizenship,  work, and well-being have been conceptualized and applied in the academic literature to document and explain gendered inequalities. The use of gender as a category of analysis is examined and attention is paid to the potentially modifying effects of other social hierarchies such as race and class.


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

There will be a reading week in week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Group work: Students will be asked to work as part of a group to discuss papers and to complete assignments (presentations, assessments of papers, answers to questions) in preparation for seminars. 

Students are asked to submit a 1,500 formative exercise which should  include a self-assessment form attached as a coversheet during MT.


Indicative reading

C L Bacchi, Analysing Policy: the Problem Represented to Be?, 2009; D Beland and R

Mahon, Advanced Introduction to Social Policy, 2016; M Daly, Welfare, 2011; M Daly & K Rake,

Gender and the Welfare State: Care, Work, and Welfare in Europe, 2003; N Folbre, Valuing Children:

Rethinking the Economics of the Family, 2008; J Hearn, E H Oleksy & D Golanska, The Limits of

Gendered Citizenship: Contexts and Contradictions, 2010. M R A Lister, F Anttonen, A Bussemaker, and J

Gerhard, Gendering Citizenship in Western Europe, Policy Press, 2007; R Mahon and F Robinson (Eds),

The Global Political Economy of Care: Integrating Ethics and Social Politics, 2011; M Nussbaum, Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach, 2011; E Ruspini, J Hearn, B Pease, and K Pringle (Eds), Men and Masculinities Around the World: Transforming Men's Practices, 2011.


Project (100%, 4000 words) in the ST.

Student performance results

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 11.8
Merit 52.9
Pass 32.4
Fail 2.9

Teachers' comment

Key facts

Department: Gender Studies

Total students 2017/18: 39

Average class size 2017/18: 13

Controlled access 2017/18: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication