Comparative and International Social Policy

This information is for the 2022/23 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, BSc in International Social and Public Policy with Politics and BSc in Social Policy and Sociology. 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 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 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.

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
First 26.7
2:1 60.6
2:2 11.5
Third 0.6
Fail 0.6

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2021/22: 72

Average class size 2021/22: 7

Capped 2021/22: Yes (82)

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.