Subject details

At the completion of this subject students will be able to:

  1. explain interdisciplinary approaches and frameworks for the study of comparative social policy
  2. compare and contrast social policy designs from around the world
  3. understand key processes involved in social policy development
  4. situate developments in Australian social policy internationally
  5. further develop vocational and research skills
  6. discuss and present relevant research findings
  7. communicate policy information and social research in a discussion paper.
    • Introduction
    • Convergence & divergence
    • Comparing motivations
    • Marketisation, financialisation and the service transition
    • Welfare state cultures
    • The paradox of redistribution
    • Social policy in Africa
    • Social Policy in East Asia
    • Social policy in Latin America
    • Social policy case study 1
    • Social policy case study 2
    • Social policy case study 3
    • Conclusion
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Embedded Multimedia
      • Online Quizzes/Tests
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Lecture capture
      • Standard Media
      • Web links


Admission to Master of Policy and Applied Social Research

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject investigates and analyses social policy experiments around the world. Social policies that aim to enhance public welfare are often incorrectly considered to solely be the province of wealthy Western democracies. In fact, some of the most interesting social policy experiments in recent times have occurred in East Asia, Latin America and beyond. In this subject we build on foundational knowledge established in earlier core social policy subjects (SGY881, SGYX818) and core methodology subjects (SGY888 and SGY889), which we strongly recommend that you do before undertaking this subject. We extend our analysis to social policy in richer and poorer countries, considering similarities as well as differences in scale, scope, instruments and politics. The degree proceeds in three sections. The first engages with frameworks for comparing social policies, welfare states and understanding historical developments. The second section considers recent developments in the welfare regimes of Europe, North America and the Antipodes. The third section outlines contemporary experiments in East Asia, Latin America and Africa, contemplating their implications for how we understand social policy.

  • 750-1,000 words (15%)
  • Discussion paper 3000 words (60%)
  • Seminar particiaption (10%)
  • Seminar particaption (15%)

Textbooks are not required.

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