GI415      Half Unit
Gender and European Welfare States

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Wendy Sigle


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 Gender (Sexuality), MSc in Gender, Peace and Security, MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities, MSc in Inequalities and Social Science and MSc in Social Research Methods. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course may be of particular interest to masters students in the European Institute.

Course content

The course investigates the ways in which gender is incorporated into national welfare states and the impact of national structures on the patterns and prevalence of gender inequalities. The course covers the theory and methodology of comparative studies and considers their applicability to the analysis of gender.  It also considers feminist critiques of mainstream methodological approaches to the comparative study of social policies. The role of the European Union in the development of gendered policies and outcomes in EU countries provides the point of focus and interrogation. A number of key patterns of inequality and policy areas are studied, including: the organisation of caring services; migration; family policy; provisions for lone parents; the labour market and labour market policies; the practices and roles of men, especially regarding fatherhood; and fertility and aging. In looking at these areas students will be encouraged to compare and contrast different welfare systems and  consider the particularism of national approaches. 


This course runs in LT. It will be delivered using both asynchronous and interactive teaching and learning elements.

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

Formative coursework

Students will be asked to prepare seminar facilitation activities in group work and submit a formative piece of work (1500 words) during the LT.

Indicative reading

G. Abels and J. M. Mushaben (2012) Gendering the European Union.

K.M. Anderson, (2015) Social Policy in the European Union.

R. Crompton et al. (2007) Women, Men, Work and Family in Europe.

H. M. Dahl et al. (eds) (2011) Europeanization, Care and Gender: Global Complexities.

M. Daly and K. Rake, (2003) Gender and the Welfare State.

G. Esping-Andersen (2009) The Incomplete Revolution: Adapting to Women’s New Roles.

J. Gornick and M. Meyers (2003) Families that Work.

J. Kantola (2010) Gender and the European Union.

R. Lister (2003) Citizenship: Feminist Perspectives, 2nd ed.

J. Lewis (2009) Work-Family Balance, Gender and Policy.


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Student performance results

(2016/17 - 2018/19 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 33.3
Merit 43.1
Pass 23.5
Fail 0

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Gender Studies

Total students 2019/20: 12

Average class size 2019/20: 12

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills