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Social Policy

Maastricht Summer School
Netherlands, Maastricht
Maastricht Summer School Netherlands, Bonnefantenstraat 2, 6211 KL Maastricht, The Netherlands
Tuition fee €599 one-time
More information



Course Description
Social policy, welfare state, social security, unemployment, basic income, social inclusion
With the rise of generative AI and highly unpredictable economic forecasts at the start of 2024, the question of certainty, social insurance, and protection becomes more relevant than ever. The European Social Policy In 1 Week course offers students a comprehensive introduction to governmental practices in the social realm. This course will walk you through the key components of the welfare state, its major challenges tackled in Europe, and the classical social policy tools used to address these challenges.

For example, what in the United States of America is often known as ‘welfare’, in Europe is referred to as ‘social assistance’. The welfare state is an abstract concept with practical application. Let us untangle these terminologies together!

The first institutionalized forms of the welfare state have been identified in Europe, and solidarity is something the European continent is known for. The social policy discipline is largely focused on the welfare state dimension. Despite the challenges due to digitalization, robotization, the pandemic, rising unemployment, and a high level of uncertainty regarding the future, the social policy discipline reminds us of the efforts in academic and public policy work and uses analytical frameworks to create solutions for these social problems (e.g., Capability approach by Amartya Sen). We will talk about a plethora of life-related problems (e.g., aging, childcare costs, unemployment).

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, students are expected to gain three core competencies:
• Clear understanding and communication of the most stringent social policy priorities for Europe, by gaining insight into the evolution of the welfare state and how it became “a European invention”.
• 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.
• 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 getting a closer look at the minimum basic income.

Recommend Literature
1) World Economic Forum (2023) Future of Jobs Report 2023, online source: www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2023.pdf
2) McKinsey (2023), What is the future of work? Online source: www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/mckinsey-explainers/what-is-the-future-of-work
3) Eder A. et al. (2022), “Economy 4.0: employment efects by occupation, industry, and gender”, Empirica (2022) 49:1063–1088, online source: link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10663-022-09543-y
4) Bordot F. (2022), “Artificial Intelligence, Robots and Unemployment: Evidence from OECD Countries”, Journal of Innovation Economics & Management (37): 117-138;
5) 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;
6) Copeland P. (2019) Governance and the European Social Dimension, Routledge Studies on Government and the European Union.
7) Sen A. (2018), Collective Choice and Social Welfare, Harvard University Press.
8) Kennett P. and Lendvai-Bainton N. (2017), Handbook of European Social Policy, Edward Elgar Publishing.
9) Picketty T. & Goldhammer A., (2016), Capital in the Twenty First Century, Harvard University Press.
10) Barr N. (2012), The Economics of the Welfare State, Policy Press.

Teaching Methods
PBL , Presentation, In-class Assignments

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

Course Coordinator
Dr. Irina Burlacu de Paoli

Apply now! Maastricht Summer School 2023/24
Application deadline
23 Jun 2024, 23:59:59
Central European Time
Studies commence
1 Jul 2024
Apply now! Maastricht Summer School 2023/24
Application deadline
23 Jun 2024, 23:59:59
Central European Time
Studies commence
1 Jul 2024