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European Social Policy

Maastricht Summer School
Netherlands, Maastricht
Maastricht Summer School Netherlands, Bonnefantenstraat 2, 6211 KL Maastricht, The Netherlands
Tuition fee €799 one-time
More information



Course Description
The European Social Policy In 1 Week course offers students a comprehensive introduction into the governmental practices of what in the US is often called welfare, while in Europe is referred to as social policy or the welfare state. The discipline of social policy originated in Europe. The welfare state is at the core of social policy. The welfare state model has been replicated by countries all over the world due to its critical role for the governments regarding their citizens – to ensure individuals’ wellbeing in times when they cannot provide for themselves. This fascinating and modern discipline offers a wide range of policy instruments that countries can use when dealing with a plethora of life-related problems (e.g. aging, child care costs, unemployment).

Despite the challenges the European welfare states face due to digitalization, robotization, the pandemic, rising unemployment, overall insecurity and high level of uncertainty regarding the future. The social policy discipline reminds us about the efforts in the academic and public policy work and uses analytical frameworks to create solutions for these social problems (e.g. Capability approach by Amartya Sen). This course will walk you through the key components of the welfare state, its major challenges tackled in Europe and classical social policy tools used to address these challenges.

The goal of this course is to gain an overall understanding of what social policy is and how it works in practice. By the end of the course the students are expected to gain three core competencies:
1) Clear understanding and communication of the most stringent social policy priorities for Europe, by gaining an insight on the evolution of the welfare state and how it became “a European invention”.
2) Analytical thinking and a critical take on different approaches and policy instruments used by the Member States and national authorities to address social policy challenges, by understanding welfare regimes.
3) Responsible decision making when it comes to own choices and views about the digitalization and robotization of human labour, by identifying new ways of addressing replacement of human labour due to robotization and get a closer look at the minimum basic income.

Recommend Literature
1) Bordot F. (2022), “Artificial Intelligence, Robots and Unemployment: Evidence from OECD Countries”, Journal of Innovation Economics & Management (37): 117-138;
2) Parvez M. et al (2022), “Employees’ perception of robots and robot-induced unemployment in hospitality industry under COVID-19 pandemic”, International Journal of Hospitality Management;
3) Copeland P. (2019) Governance and the European Social Dimension, Routledge Studies on Government and the European Union.
4) Sen A. (2018), Collective Choice and Social Welfare, Harvard University Press.
5) Kennett P. and Lendvai-Bainton N. (2017), Handbook of European Social Policy, Edward Elgar Publishing.
6) Picketty T. & Goldhammer A., (2016), Capital in the Twenty First Century, Harvard University Press.
7) Barr N. (2012), The Economics of the Welfare State, Policy Press.

Teaching Methods
Attendance ▪ Participation ▪ Evaluation test ▪ Presentation/Exam

Assessment Methods
Attendance ▪ Participation ▪ Evaluation test ▪ Presentation/Exam

Course Coordinator
Irina Burlacu de Paoli

Apply now! Maastricht Summer School 2023
Application period has ended
Studies commence
19 Jun 2023
Apply now! Maastricht Summer School 2023
Application period has ended
Studies commence
19 Jun 2023