SC3057 Social policy
The syllabus comprises the following topics:
The nature of social policy as an academic discipline within the social sciences. Key contemporary issues in social policy, including the nature of policy-making, the 'mixed economy of welfare' and the nature of 'globalisation'.
Key concepts and principles in social policy: need, poverty and risk; social citizenship and 'belonging'; equality and social inclusion/exclusion.
Key ideological positions and debates: neo-liberalism, Marxism, democratic socialism and the 'third way'; feminism and anti-racism; disability.
Key issues in social policy: the impact (if any) of 'globalisation' and the nature of global economic pressures; shifts in welfare provision - aspects of welfare state retrenchment including conditionality, personal responsibility and 'workfare'; policy delivery - the respective merits of the mixed economy of welfare: state, private and voluntary sectors; financing welfare - general taxation, user charging and means testing.
Comparative social policy (1): Welfare regimes. An introduction to, and critical assessment of, Esping-Andersen's welfare regime typology.
Comparative social policy (2): the nature of policy provision in some key welfare regimes, taking examples from pensions, health policies and social care. Countries include: Australia, USA, UK; Sweden, Denmark; the Netherlands, Germany, France; Japan, S. Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Supranational challenges to national welfare systems: the role of the European Union; possibilities for the 'global governance' of welfare.