To introduce the comparative approach to the study of welfare states;
To understand the issues associated with comparing welfare states;
To introduce some of the key analytical and methodological techniques and debates in the macro-comparative study of welfare states; and
To introduce and explore some key macro-comparative welfare state data sources
Module learning outcomes
By the end of this module students should have:
Awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of a comparative approach to the study of welfare states;
Familiarity with, and the ability to critically assess, some of the key theories concerning welfare state development and change;
A basic knowledge of key comparative research methodologies that exist to explore the broad types of welfare regimes;
Familiarity with the key data sets used in comparative welfare state research and an ability to manipulate them in a meaningful way
% of module mark
Special assessment rules
% of module mark
Information currently unavailable
There is no single book that covers the content of the module well as most of the main textbooks focus on describing theories, policies and countries rather than training students how to compare countries using the data that is available. Because of this, students will be given detailed handouts each week once the data workshops begin. Links to key relevant resources will be provided on the VLE each week too. However, the following textbooks may be useful in terms of providing background knowledge about substantive issues in the macro-comparative literature:
Armingeon, K. and Bonoli, G. (2006) The Politics of Post-Industrial Welfare States: Adapting Post-War Welfare States to New Social Risks, London: Routledge.
Castles, F. (2004) The Future of the Welfare State. Crisis Myths and Crisis Realities, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ellison, N. (2006) The Transformation of Welfare States?, London/New York: Routledge.
Esping-Andersen, G. (1990) The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Esping-Andersen, G. (1996) Welfare States in Transition, London: Sage. (esp. chapters 1-5, and chapter 9)
Esping-Andersen, G. (1999) Social Foundations of Post-Industrial Economies, Oxford: OxfordUniversity Press. (esp. chapter 5)
Esping-Andersen, G. with Gallie, D., Hemerijck, A. and Myles, J. (2002) Why We Need a New Welfare State, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Farnsworth and Irving (2011) Social Policy in Challenging Times. Economic Crisis and Welfare Systems,Bristol: Policy Press.
Ferrera, M. and Rhodes,M. (eds.)(2000) Recasting European Welfare States, London: Frank Cass.
Greve, B. (2006) The Future of the Welfare State: European and Global Perspectives, Aldershot: Ashgate.
Hemerijck, A. (2012) Changing Welfare States, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Huber, E. and Stephens,J. (2001) Development and Crisis of the Welfare State, Chicago: Chicago University Press
Kennet, P. (2001) Comparative Social Policy, Milton Keynes: Open UP, chapters 2 & 3.
Kennet, P. (2004) A handbook of comparative social policy, Edward Elgar, section IV.
Iversen, T. (2005) Capitalism, Democracy and Welfare, New York/Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Pierson, C. (2006) Beyond the Welfare State? The New Political Economy of Welfare, 3rd Edition, Cambridge: Polity Press.
Pierson, C. and Castles, F. G. (2007) The Welfare State Reader, 2nd Edition, Bristol: Polity Press.
Pierson, P. (ed.) (2001) The New Politics of the Welfare State, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Morel, N., Palier, B. and Palme, J. (2012) Towards a Social Investment State? Ideas, Policies and Challenges, Bristol: Policy Press.
Scharpf, F. W. and Schmidt, V. A. (eds.) (2000) Welfare and Work in the Open Economy, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Seeleib-Kaiser, M. (2008) Welfare State Transformations: Comparative Perspectives, Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Taylor-Gooby, P. (ed.) (2001) Welfare States under Pressure, London: Sage.
Taylor-Gooby, P. (2004) New Risks, New Welfare: The Transformation of the European Welfare State, Oxford: Oxford University Press