Syllabus for Comparative Welfare States

Comparative Welfare States

A revised version of the syllabus is available.


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 2SK576
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Political Science G1F

    Explanation of codes

    The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:

    First cycle

    • G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
    • G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
    • G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
    • GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

    Second cycle

    • A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
    • A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
    • AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2007-01-24
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Social Sciences
  • Revised: 2010-05-07
  • Revised by: The Board of the Department of Government
  • Applies from: Autumn 2010
  • Entry requirements:

    Political Science basic course or equivalent education.

  • Responsible department: Department of Government

Learning outcomes

This course gives an introduction to the comparative study of welfare state regimes, especially discussing the effect of welfare state regimes on social inequality built on the dimensions of class, gender and ethnicity.

The goal is that you achieve a theoretically based knowledge about the basic features of different welfare state regimes, and that you are able to analyse implications of different types of welfare policies for class-, gender- and ethnic relations in society.


Teaching will consist of four lectures, three usual seminars and one seminar for the discussion of final papers. The three first lectures are intended primarily to place the literature into context, and give you a first understanding of the "subject (and literature) of the week". The last lecture shall give you an understanding of what the final paper should look like and leaves room for questions on this part.

There is an emphasis placed on students' active participation in seminar discussions. Before each seminar, a list of suggested questions will be distributed. In preparation to the seminar, you should read the literature, reflect on all the questions and then choose one question on which you write a short "reading report" of about one page (400 to 600 words). The reading report has to be handed in in the beginning of the seminar, so you have to print it out yourself. I (or Mattias) will read the reading reports before the next time we meet and return them to you with our comments. It is important to note that, while I will be talking most of the time during the lectures, I expect you to talk most of the time during the seminars. The seminars are a forum where you discuss the course literature referring to the questions you got; I as the teacher have mostly the role of a moderator.

For the last seminar, you write a shorter academic paper of about 6-8 pages (2.000 to 3.000 words), which should include references and a list of the literature you used. The choice of topic is completely free as long as it relates to the overall theme of the course, i.e. welfare state politics and policies in a broad sense. There is no obligation to use additional literature aside from the course literature, but you are of course welcome to do so. At the last seminar, you will defend your paper, and act as an opponent on the paper of another student.


The seminars, the reading reports and the final paper are compulsory and form part of the examination. The lectures, while hopefully helpful, are not obligatory.

The final grade will depend primarily on the final paper, with the previous written assignments and seminar discussions potentially pushing the grade one step up or down. Note, however, that participating in at least two of the three "ordinary" (not including the Final seminar) seminars is a minimum requirement in order to pass the course.

Other directives

Course taught for exchange students only.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Autumn 2010

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Lister, Ruth Gendering citizenship in Western Europe : new challenges for citizenship research in a cross-national context

    Bristol: Policy, 2007

    Find in the library


  • Schierup, Carl-Ulrik; Hansen, Peo; Castles, Stephen Migration, citizenship, and the European welfare state : a European dilemma

    Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006

    Find in the library


  • Articles


  • Articles


  • Esping-Andersen, Gøsta The three worlds of welfare capitalism

    Cambridge: Polity, 1990

    Find in the library