- Department: Social Policy and Social Work
- Module co-ordinator: Prof. Kevin Farnsworth
- Credit value: 20 credits
- Credit level: H
- Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
- See module specification for other years: 2023-24
|Semester 1 2024-25
Welfare states grew out of crisis and have weathered various crises since the day they came into being. Just as capitalism is moulded by crisis, so welfare states constantly face new economic, political and social crises as they mature. Most recently, welfare states have had to respond to global financial crashes, a global health pandemic and the environmental crisis. These crises have repositioned many welfare states in unexpected ways in terms of their capacity to build and sustain progressive welfare systems and the kinds of reforms enacted. This module explores the idea of ‘crisis’ and the impact of various crises - economic, political and social - on the relationships between states, markets and citizens. Students will develop a critical appreciation of contemporary debate on the sustainability of welfare states, and the theoretical frameworks used in the analysis of economic crises and their impact on social policy development.
On successful completion of the module students will be able to:
Apply appropriate theoretical frameworks to the analysis of crises and evaluate their significance for welfare states
Summarise and critically evaluate key contributions to the explanation of economic, political and social crises and their impact on social policy
Assess the role of different actors and organisations in the emergence and management of crises and welfare state reform
Identify and explain cross-national, international and global commonalities and divergence in the experience of, and social policy response to crises
Identify and assess a range of statistical and other evidence that informs debate on crises and possible policy responses
|% of module mark
Portfolio of critical summaries - essay 1
|% of module mark
Essay 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.
Farnsworth, K. & Irving , Z. (eds) (2011) Social policy in challenging times: economic crisis and welfare systems. Bristol: The Policy Press
Farnsworth, K. 2021. ‘Retrenched, Reconfigured and Broken: The British Welfare State After a Decade of Austerity. Social Policy and Society.
Gough, I. 2017. Heat, Greed and Human Need London: Palgrave
Hemerijck, A., Knapen, B. and van Doorn, E. (2009) Aftershocks, Economic Crisis and Institutional Choice, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press
Schäfer, A. and Streeck, W. and (2013) Politics in the age of austerity, Cambridge: Polity.
Streeck, W. (2017) How will Capitalism End?, London: Verso.