GI415      Half Unit
Gender and Welfare Regimes: Developments and Change

This information is for the 2024/25 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Ania Plomien


This course is available on the MSc in European and International Politics and Policy, MSc in European and International Politics and Policy (LSE and Bocconi), MSc in European and International Politics and Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), 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 has a limited number of places (it is controlled access) and demand is typically very high. Priority is given to students on the MSc Gender, Policy and Inequalities programme. 

Course content

The course critically explores the ways in which gender is incorporated into welfare state scholarship and social policy practice. The material covers the theory and methodology of comparative studies and feminist and decolonial critiques of mainstream approaches. The critical lens illuminates how accounts of economic development and class politics are partial without considering gendered and racialised spheres of welfare generation and the role of exploitation, expropriation and exclusion within nation-states and transnationally. The analytical focus shifts between scales to include individual advanced welfare states, welfare regimes, and the role of supranational organisations such as the EU, ILO or OECD. The substantive politics, policies and patterns of inequality, and policy areas studied converge on the work-welfare-care nexus. Indicatively, we study the organisation of caring services, migration, family policy, provisions for groups with special care needs (e.g. lone parents, persons with disabilities), employment, the practices and roles of men (especially regarding fatherhood),  demographic change. In looking at these areas students are  encouraged to compare and contrast different welfare systems and consider the particularism of national policy approaches and the influence of supra- and transnational processes in shaping patterns of (in)equality.


This course runs in the WT. This course has a reading week in Week 6 of WT. 

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 WT.

Indicative reading

  • K.M. Anderson (2015) Social policy in the European Union
  • D. Béland and R. Mahon (2016) Advanced introduction to social policy
  • M. Daly (2020) Gender inequality and welfare states in Europe
  • G. Esping-Andersen (2009) The incomplete revolution: adapting to women’s new roles
  • S. Jaquot (2015) Transformations in EU gender equality: from emergence to dismantling
  • J. Kantola and M. Lombardo (2017) Gender and political analysis
  • R. Lister (2003) Citizenship: feminist perspectives, 2nd ed
  • R. Nieuwenhuis and W. Van Lacker (2020) The Palgrave handbook of family policy
  • S. Shaver (2018) Handbook on Gender and social policy
  • F. Williams, (2021) Social policy: a critical and intersectional analysis


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

Student performance results

(2020/21 - 2022/23 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 32.1
Merit 52.4
Pass 10.7
Fail 4.8

Key facts

Department: Gender Studies

Total students 2023/24: 27

Average class size 2023/24: 28

Controlled access 2023/24: No

Value: Half 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

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