Comparative and International Social Policy

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Timo Fleckenstein OLD.2.60


This course is compulsory on the BSc in International Social and Public Policy, BSc in International Social and Public Policy and Economics and BSc in International Social and Public Policy with Politics. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.


This course is only available to students who have completed Understanding International Social and Public Policy (SP100).

Course content

The course introduces the comparative method in social policy research as well as the main analytical approaches to understanding social policy developments. It provides an overview of social policies in different areas of the world and enables students to identify global pressures on national policy environments.

The course also examines the impact of key international and supranational institutions on social policy-making. It investigates the welfare and work nexus from a comparative perspective.


Courses in Social Policy will follow the Teaching Model which has been adopted by the Department of Social Policy during the period of the pandemic. This is outlined HERE: https://www.lse.ac.uk/social-policy/Current-Students/teaching-in-the-department-of-social-policy

This course will be taught through a combination of either a recorded lecture plus a follow-up Q and A session or a ‘live’ on-line lecture; and classes/seminars of 1-1.5 hours (with size and length of classes/seminars depending on social distancing requirements).

Further information will be provided by the Course Convenor in the first lecture of the course.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to submit three pieces of formative written work throughout the academic year and are expected to read for and prepare contributions to class discussion each week.

Indicative reading

K Armingeon & G Bonoli (Eds), The Politics of Post-Industrial Welfare States (2006)

F Castles, The Future of the Welfare State (2004)

J Clasen, Reforming European Welfare States (2004)

B Deacon, Global Social Policy and Governance (2007)

I Gough & G Wood (Eds), Insecurity and Welfare Regimes in Asia, Africa and Latin America (2004)

L Hantrais, Social Policy in the European Union (2007)

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

P Taylor-Gooby (Ed), New Risks, New Welfare (2005).


Online assessment (100%) in the ST.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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: Social Policy

Total students 2020/21: 53

Average class size 2020/21: 7

Capped 2020/21: Yes (60)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information