Sustainability of Welfare Policies in the Modern Era

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 2EH424

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Economic History A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 26 June 2020
Responsible department
Department of Economic History

General provisions

This course is included the Master's Programme in Global Markets, Local Creativities (GLOCAL)

Entry requirements

Accepted to the Master's Programme in Global Markets, Local Creativities (GLOCAL)

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • in an advanced way describe and discuss distinctive features and development in modern capitalist welfare states.
  • describe and discuss different theoretical explanations to contemporary changes of modern welfare states.
  • analyse independently and critically both theoretical and empirical works in the field that the course covers.


The course combines historical studies with special focus on Sweden and other Nordic welfare states with comparative studies of welfare states.

Which were the reasons to their emergence? Which are the causes of their presumed decline?

By alternating between advanced studies of historical trends of some cases with more general comparisons of several other countries, the course intends to develop the student's ability to understand and analyse complex processes concerning economic and institutional development.

Subjects that are brought up in this course include welfare state typologies, the historical roots of the welfare states, outcomes in the form of a decommodifying economic security, health and gender equality, not least gender relation and the family's role.

The course will also discuss and problematise questions that concern challenges against extensive public welfare systems and their sustainability in a post-industrial global world.


The teaching is given in the form of lectures and seminars. The language of instruction is English


The students are assessed through fulfilment of written and oral assignments.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.