This module will explore the concepts of Modern Society and the Welfare State, based on key theories. We will engage with how modernity has been framed by classical and contemporary sociological writings and in that context analyse how individuals, collectives, markets, and interests and have been conceptualised. The welfare state is an integral part of modern society and this module will investigate why modernisation and welfare state development went hand in hand, by studying the evolution of collective insurance against risks of poverty or ill health. On this basis we will turn our attention to contemporary dynamics of modern societies, giving particular consideration to non-OECD countries, which “modernised” from the second half of the 20th century, such as China and Korea. Throughout the module students will be encouraged to critically engage with these sociological debates, assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches and evaluate attempts to operationalise them in comparative research.