- Department: Social Policy and Social Work
- Module co-ordinator: Prof. Chris Holden
- Credit value: 20 credits
- Credit level: C
- Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
- See module specification for other years: 2023-24
|Semester 1 2024-25
This module focuses on the economy as a social institution and considers the location of social and public policy between economics and politics. It will introduce students to economic concepts that are relevant to the analysis of social and public policy. It will explore how economic issues and policies usually have social implications, while social and public policies usually have economic implications. The approaches of different schools of economic thought to economic and social questions will be considered, with a focus on political economy analysis. The module will explore the nature of capitalism and markets, considering when markets work, when they fail, and their implications for inequality, social justice and wellbeing. It will analyse the role of social and public policies in regulating markets and responding to unequal and socially unjust outcomes, including questions of labour market regulation; environmental harm and sustainability; economic growth and wellbeing; the role of work and care in the economy; economic crises and their social consequences; inequality, taxation and redistribution; and the relationship between global economic processes and national policy-making.
To introduce and explain key economic concepts and processes that are of relevance to social and public policy
To introduce the idea of political economy and how it can be used to understand the economy and social and public policy processes and outcomes
To explore the interrelatedness of economic and social policies and issues, and the implications of economic processes for social outcomes
To introduce key debates concerning economic policies as they relate to questions of inequality, social justice and wellbeing
At the end of this module you will be able to:
understand key economic concepts, especially as they relate to social and public policy
apply a political economy lens to social and economic issues and policies
understand the impacts of key economic processes and policies on inequality, social justice and wellbeing
understand and contribute to debates about social and public policies and their relationships to economic issues
|% of module mark
|% of module mark
Feedback will be given in accordance with the University Policy on feedback in the Guide to Assessment as well as in line with the School policy.
Chang, H.J. (2014) Economics: The User’s Guide, London: Pelican.
Heilbroner, R. (2000) The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers, London: Penguin.
Le Grand, J, Propper, C and Smith, S. (2008) The Economics of Social Problems, fourth edition, London: Palgrave-MacMillan.
Barr, B. (2012) Economics of the Welfare State, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Varoufakis, Y. (1998) Foundations of Economics: A Beginner’s Companion, London: Routledge.