This module will review and discuss the state of the art in research on social welfare and human well-being and the one, and on social policies addressing these issues on the other hand. In the first part students will explore how previously dominant economic approaches towards social welfare have been challenged by researchers interested in basic needs and poverty (eg Streeten and Gough), but also by those making 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. This is followed in the second part by the introduction of research on social policies in different welfare regimes. The link between these regimes and social welfare and well-being in different countries will then be studied. Overall, students will be encouraged to critically engage with these debates and to assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches. They will also be introduced to different data sources which make it possible to measure human welfare and social policies globally, such as in the UN Human Development Index or the World Values Survey. For their assessment, students will be asked to use the different approaches and the data sources they have generated to assess the performance of human welfare of selected societies using a case study approach.