Understanding International Social and Public Policy

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Isabel Shutes OLD.2.58


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.

Course content

The course introduces students to the study and practice of international social and public policy. It considers how societies organise to address social needs, with reference to academic and policy debates across the so-called global North and South.

In the first half of the course (Michaelmas Term), you will develop your understanding of how welfare systems have developed and of the institutions and actors involved in different contexts across the world, including the state, market, civil society and families.

In the second half (Lent Term), you will consider the challenge of inequality and how different approaches in social policy, involving those institutions and actors, can redress or reinforce inequalities.



Courses in Social Policy follow the Teaching Model outlined on the following page: https://www.lse.ac.uk/social-policy/Current-Students/teaching-in-the-department-of-social-policy

All teaching will be in accordance with the LSE Academic Code (https://info.lse.ac.uk/current-students/lse-academic-code) which specifies a "minimum of two hours taught contact time per week when the course is running in the Michaelmas and/or Lent terms". Social Policy courses are predominantly taught through a combination of in-person Lectures and In person classes/seminars. Further information will be provided by the Course Convenor in the first lecture of the course.

This course is taught in both MT and LT.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to participate actively in course activities and to complete two formative assignments. 

Indicative reading

Artaraz, K. and Hill, M. (2016) Global Social Policy: Themes, Issues and Actors. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Daly, M. (2011) Welfare. Cambridge: Polity.

Garland, D. (2016) The Welfare State: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kabeer, N., Cook, S. (2000) ‘Revisioning social policy in the South: challenges and concepts’, IDS Bulletin, 31: 4, 1-18.

Lewis, D. (2017) ‘Should we pay more attention to South-North learning?’, Human Service Organisations: Management, Leadership and Governance, 41: 4, 327-331.

Ikemura Amaral, A., Jones, G., Nogueira, M. (2020) 'Brazil's so-called 'invisibles' will need more than resilience to redress the unequal impacts of COVID-19 | LSE Latin America and Caribbean', LSE blogs https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/latamcaribbean/2020/05/14/brazils-so-called-invisibles-will-need-more-than-resilience-to-redress-the-unequal-impacts-of-covid-19/



Online assessment (80%) in the ST.
Group assignment (20%) in the MT.

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2021/22: 45

Average class size 2021/22: 8

Capped 2021/22: Yes (60)

Lecture capture used 2021/22: Yes (LT)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Specialist skills