Accueil > Social policies in europe


Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 48

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

Is there a “European social model”? If so, what are its main characteristics? What are the main institutions and policies aimed at supporting individuals when they are in social difficulties (sickness, unemployment, old age)? Are these similar from one country to the other? Are the social protection systems implemented in the post-war period still ‘alive and kicking'? What are the main difficulties and reforms occurring throughout Europe? How do European countries deal with these challenges? Is the European level interfering in the processes of national reforms? The aim of the course is to provide students with a clear idea of the diversity of European social policies, of their political background, and to allow for the assessment of their performance. The course will also provide an in-depth account of current welfare reforms, in the perspective of their historical development. The social science analysis concepts (de-/re-commodification, path dependency, Varieties of Capitalisms) will also be used in order to understand the issues at stake in recent debates concerning the welfare state and the trajectories of their reforms.


  • AVLIJAS, Sonja (Research Fellow)
  • PALIER, Bruno (Research Director, CNRS, CEE - Sciences Po)

Pedagogical format

Courses will comprise discussions around the readings (texts will be made available online for students) and lectures by Bruno Palier. Students are supposed to have read the assigned text before attending the lecture. They need to prepare their answer to question on the text. Tutorials will complement the lectures.

Course validation

In the grading of students, the participation to discussion, based on reading in advance will be taken into account (20% of the grade). One short book review will be asked to students during the course (30%). There will be a Final exam, two hours exam (50%).

Required reading

  • ESPING-ANDERSEN, Gøsta (1990), The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, Cambridge, Polity Press
  • MOREL, Nathalie, PALIER, Bruno, PALME, Joakim (dirs.), Towards a Social Investment Welfare State?: Ideas, Polices and Challenges. Bristol : The Policy Press, 2012
  • EMMENEGGER, Patrick, HÄUSERMANN, Silja, PALIER, Bruno, SEELEIB-KAISER, Martin (dirs.), The Age of Dualization: The Changing Face of Inequality in Deindustrializing Societies. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2012, 368 p

Additional required reading

  • GIAIMO, Susan. Markets and Medicine: The Politics of Health Care Reform in Britain, Germany, and the United States. University of Michigan Press, 2002