SOCI6047 International Social Welfare
Debates in this area have in recent decades seen a marked broadening. Dominant economic approaches have been challenged not just by researchers interested in basic needs and poverty (eg Streeten and Gough) but also on the basis of more philosophical and psycho-sociological arguments, for example Sen and Nussbaum’s work on capabilities, Layard’s on happiness and Wilkinson’s on inequality and health. Students will be encouraged to critically engage with these debates, assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches and evaluate attempts to operationalise them in comparative social welfare research, such as in the UN Human Development Index, the World Values Survey etc. Students will also be encouraged to use the different approaches and the data sources they have generated to assess the performance on human welfare of selected societies using a case study approach.
Aims and Objectives
This module seeks to explore international debates about the conceptualisation and measurement of social welfare.
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- Knowledge of the range of approaches to understanding social welfare.
- Ability to critically analyse the debates surrounding the conceptualistion and measurement of social welfare
- Ability to explain the comparative successes and failures of different societies in promoting social welfare
- Ability to evaluate the comparative success of societies in promoting human welfare.
- Skill in the identification and use of data as a means to assess the performance of countries with regard to human welfare
1. Introduction - conceptualising and measuring social welfare 1. Welfare economics and national income 1. Basic needs and international poverty 1. Human development and the capability approach 1. Population health 1. Subjective well-being and happiness 1. Inequality 1. Sustainability 1. Researching international social welfare - data sources and their limitatons 1. Social policy and social welfare 1. Case study presentations 1. Case study presentations
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
Teaching will take place in one two-hour session per week. The format will be seminar-based, with students provided with guided readings in advance of the session, and encouraged to engage in discussion by the seminar tutor. On some occasions student might be asked to present material at the start of sessions. There will be a total of 20 seminar-based contact hours and up to 20 contact hours of tutorial support.
|Total study time||200|
Resources & Reading list
Layard, R. (2005). Happiness : lessons from a new science.
Wilkinson, R. and Pickett, K. (2009). The spirit level : why more equal societies almost always do better.
Journals. • International Journal of Social Welfare • Journal of Human Development and Capabilities
Deaton, A. (2013). The Great Escape: health, wealth and the origins of inequality.
Ackerman, F. et al (1999). Human Well-being and Economic Goals.
Sen, A. (1999). Development as freedom.
Stiglitz, J.E., Sen, A. & Fitoussi, J.-P., (2011). Mis-Measuring Our Lives.
Hall, P. and Lamont, M. (2009). Introduction in P. A. Hall and M. Lamont (eds.) Successful Societies. How Institutions and Culture Affect Health.
Nussbaum, M. and Sen. A. (1993). The Quality of Life.
|Coursework plan (500 words)||10%|
|Report (3500 words)||60%|
|Coursework assignment(s) ( words)||100%|
Repeat type: Internal & External