Comparative Social Policy

Subject SOCI90003 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

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

This subject is not offered in 2011.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week. If enrolments exceed 30, the 2nd hour of the seminar may be split into 2 or 3 small classes.
Total Time Commitment: 10
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: Sociology, Public Policy or Political Science at Undergraduate level.
Non Allowed Subjects: 166-531 Comparative Social Policy
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


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.

A research essay of 2500 words (50%) due mid-semester, and a research essay of 2500 words (50%) due during the examination period.

Hurdle Requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. Students who fail to meet this hurdle requirement will be deemed ineligible to submit the final piece of assessment for this subject. Regular participation in class is required.

Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 2% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available for purchase from the University Bookshop.

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 &amp.amp.amp.amp.amp. 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 &amp.amp.amp.amp.amp. 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 &amp.amp.amp.amp.amp. Paugam, S (2000) Welfare regimes and the experience of unemployment in Europe, Oxford: Oxford University Press Gilbert, N &amp.amp.amp.amp.amp. Van Voorhis, R (eds) (2001) Activating the unemployed: a comparative appraisal of work-oriented policies, New Brunswick: Transaction Gilbert, N &amp.amp.amp.amp.amp. 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 &amp.amp.amp.amp.amp. 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 &amp.amp.amp.amp.amp. Schmidt, V (eds) (2000) Welfare and work in the open economy, Vol 1, From vulnerability to competitiveness, Oxford: Oxford University Press Scharpf, F &amp.amp.amp.amp.amp. 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
Notes: This is a compulsory subject in the Master of Social Policy (100 & 200 point programs).
Related Course(s): Master of Public Policy and Management (Coursework)
Master of Social Policy
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Political Science
Political Science
Political Science
Politics and International Studies
Public Policy and Management
Public Policy and Management

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