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KAFP 3360 - Comparative Welfare States and their reforms and futures

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


No specific requirement but students should read the following three books : Esping-Andersen Gøsta, 1990, "The three worlds of welfare capitalism", Cambridge, Polity Press. Morel, Nathalie; Palier, Bruno and Palme, Joakim "Towards a social investment welfare state? Ideas, Policies and Challenges", Bristol Policy press, 2012. Hemerijck, Anton (2013) "Changing Welfare States", Oxford University Press.

Course Description

This course will present how different welfare states are organized, developed and reformed. It will explain and discuss several methodological debates in the field of cross-national comparison of welfare systems. It will start by explaining the origins of the welfare states in various regions, and then will analyze their development. It will then present the various challenges that national welfare states are confronted with, such as demographic ageing, the entry of women into the labour market, globalisation, the end of industrialism, the rise of information and communication technology and the digitalisation of the economy. It will analyse welfare states' differing capacities to reforms and adapt to these new economic and social contexts of the 21st century. Perspectives on new models of welfare will also be presented and discussed.


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

Pedagogical format

Courses will start with a collective discussion of the texts associated to the session. On the base of the discussion, the teacher will then develop the main points of the session, presenting the main results of recent research on the analyzed topic.

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 book review the course (30%). There will be a Final exam (50%).


Before each session of the course, students are required to read the assigned text(s) (accessible on moodle) and prepare a question given to students in advance.

Required reading

  • Esping-Andersen, Gøsta, 1990, The three worlds of welfare capitalism, Cambridge, Polity Press
  • Morel, Nathalie; Palier, Bruno and Palme, Joakim (eds). (2012) Towards a social investment welfare state? Ideas, Policies and Challenges, Bristol: Policy press, 2012
  • Hemerijck, Anton (2013) Changing Welfare States, Oxford: Oxford University Press