Fall/Winter Timetable

POL438H1S L5101

Graduate Course Code: POL2321H1S L5101

Topics in Comparative Politics I

Welfare Capitalism in Western Europe


This course will present the characteristics and evolution of the so called European social models. We will review first the arguments and approaches of the varieties of capitalism literature. Secondly, there will be a survey of the different social models in Europe. Thirdly, we will explain both the theory and practice of key welfare policies such as health care, education, unemployment insurance, and retirement pensions. Finally, we will look in detail at the way governments in Scandinavia, Continental and Anglophone Europe, and the Mediterranean region address the aforementioned policies, and will describe specific reforms in these welfare states, considering recent economic and political developments, i.e. multiculturalism, the global financial crisis, or the new role of markets and governments in the provision of public services.

The course will draw on some basic economic ideas, but prior background in economics is not a prerequisite.



Format and Requirements

(1) Participation in the class discussions (15% of the final grade). (2) A brief presentation based on a journal or newspaper article related to one of the subjects
addressed in the lectures (15% of the final grade). (3) A formal research proposal (assignment 1) of two pages, including a preliminary title, an abstract, a description of methodology, and a short list of preliminary references (15% of the final grade). (4) A draft research paper (assignment 2) of 15-20 pages, double spaced, building on the
previous research proposal (20% of the final grade). (5) A final version of the research paper (assignment 3) of 20-25 pages, double spaced, building on the previous research proposal and draft (35% of the final grade).
All these exercises must be completed to receive credit for the course.


2.0 credits in POL/ JPA/ JPF/ JPI/ JPR/ JPS/ JRA courses