Comparative Social Policy

Subject 166-531 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2-hour Seminar per week.
Total Time Commitment: 2 contact hours/week , 8 additional hours/week. Total of 8.5 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Admission to the postgraduate certificate/ diploma or fourth-year honours in political science, sociology, public policy and management, or the Master of Social Policy, or Master of Public Policy and Management, or Master of Criminology.
Corequisites: This is a compulsory subject in the Master of Social Policy (100 point program)
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Martina Boese


Dr. Millsom Henry-Waring
Subject Overview: This subject uses a comparative approach to analyse key areas of contemporary social policy, with a focus on the reform strategies that emerged over the 1990s. The subject examines the different social policy responses that have characterised these strategies, and considers ways of evaluating policy models in key areas. It engages with social policy in Australia, Europe and North America, emerging social policy in Asia, as well as with the increasing role of international organizations. The subject focuses on key policy areas, drawn from family policy, health policy, employment policy, ageing and urban policies.
  • be able to develop comparative analysis of continuity and change in social policy;
  • have a knowledge of comparative studies of contemporary welfare regimes;
  • be able to critically assess the role of international organisations in social policy;
Assessment: A research essay of 2500 words 50% (due mid-semester), and a research essay of 2500 words 50% (due during the examination period).
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader and/or a key text will be available
Recommended Texts: Aspalter, C (ed) (2002) Discovering the welfare state in East Asia, Westport: Praeger Castles, F (1998) Comparative public policies: patterns of post-war transformation, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Castles, F (ed) (1989) The comparative history of public policy, Oxford: Oxford University Press Ebbinghaus, B & Manlow, P (eds) (2001) Comparing welfare capitalism: social policy and political economy in Europe, Japan and the USA, London: Routledge Esping Anderson, G (1990) The three worlds of welfare capitalism, Cambridge: Polity Press Esping Anderson, G (1999) Social foundations of Postindustrial Economies, Oxford: Oxford University Press Esping-Anderson, G & Regini, M (eds) (2000) Why deregulate labour markets?, Oxford: Oxford University Press Esping-Anderson, G (ed) (1996) Welfare states in transition: national adaptations in global economies, London: Sage Gallie, D & Paugam, S (2000) Welfare regimes and the experience of unemployment in Europe, Oxford: Oxford University Press Gilbert, N & Van Voorhis, R (eds) (2001) Activating the unemployed: a comparative appraisal of work-oriented policies, New Brunswick: Transaction Gilbert, N & Van Voorhis, R (eds) (2003) Changing patterns of social protection, New Brunswick: Transaction Gilbert, N (ed) (2001) Targeting social benefits: international perspectives and trends, New Brunswick: Transaction Greig, A (et al) (2003) Inequality in Australia, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press McFate, J, Lawson, R & Wilson, W (eds) (1996) Poverty, inequality, and the future of social policy: Western states in the new world order, New York: Russell Sage Foundation Peter Saunders (2002) The Ends and Means of Welfare: Coping with Economic and Social Change in Australia, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Sainsbury, D (1999) Gender and welfare state regimes, Oxford: Oxford University Press Scharpf, F & Schmidt, V (eds) (2000) Welfare and work in the open economy, Vol 1, From vulnerability to competitiveness, Oxford: Oxford University Press Scharpf, F & Schmidt, V (eds) (2000) Welfare and work in the open economy, Vol 2, Diverse responses to common challenges, Oxford: Oxford University Press Shalev, M (19960 The privatization of social policy: occupational welfare and the welfare state in America, Scandinavia and Japan, London: Macmillan Sykes, R (et al) (2001) Globalization and European welfare states: challenges and change, Basingstoke: Palgrave
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • to be able demonstrate critical thinking and analytic skills, through research and written communication;
  • be able to communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically, both orally and in writing;
  • to be able to display awareness and understanding of the social, ethical and cultural contexts of research and of our place as researchers

Formerly available as 166-531. Students who have completed 166-531 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

This is a compulsory subject in the Master of Social Policy (100-point program).

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Public Policy and Management
Bachelor of Public Policy and Management(Honours)
Master of Criminology (CWT)
Master of Public Policy and Management (Coursework)
Master of Social Policy
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Political Science
Political Science
Political Science
Public Policy and Management
Public Policy and Management

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