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Regular version of the site
Master 2020/2021

Comparative Social Policy Analysis

Type: Elective course (Political Analysis and Public Policy)
Area of studies: Political Science
Delivered by: Public Policy Department
When: 1 year, 3, 4 module
Mode of studies: offline
Instructors: Victor Attila Albert, Anna Alexandrovna Cherviakova, Vladimir A. Kozlov, Sergey Parkhomenko, Caroline Schlaufer
Master’s programme: Political Analysis and Public Policy
Language: English
ECTS credits: 5
Contact hours: 40

Course Syllabus


Social policy is an important field of contemporary state activities related to the welfare state and social services offered to its citizens. In different administrative systems the scope of social policy may differ in particular aspect or components, but the general principle in the core is the same – it focuses on the social problems a society faces through identification and thorough analysis of the causes and consequences of such problems, the influence of different factors (social, political, administrative, economic, etc.) on the dynamics of such challenges, opportunities and limitations for political and administrative reaction to them, and potential efficiency of various policy solutions available to the policy-makers dealing with such social issues. The course is supposed to provide comparative analytical framework for consideration of social policies around the globe and introduce students to the diversity and key components of most typical social policies implemented by most governments. In addition, the students are supposed to get experience of policy papers preparation.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To provide students with thorough understanding of the social policy concept and its main components
  • To develop students competencies of comparative analysis methodology
  • To provide students with knowledge of up-to-date experience of social policy implementation around the world
  • To provide students with detailed comparative analysis of possible policy solutions for specific social policies in Russia and abroad in different cultural, political, social, and economic settings
  • To provide the competencies necessary for effective and rational participation in development and implementation of social policy
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • The students will know the theory of social policy, the international experience of solving certain social problems, the specific features of the main field of social policy
  • The students will be able to conduct comparative analysis of social issues and social policy in different environments.
  • The students will know the theory of social policy, the international experience of solving certain social problems, the specific features of the main field of social policy.
  • The students will acquire the skills necessary for professional participation in analyzing social challenges, developing elements of social policy, planning the implementation of social policy, and analytical documents writing skills (papers, reports, and memos) in several areas of social policy.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction in public policy analysis
    Introduction in Public Policy Analysis: PPA as an Applied Discipline; Model of PPA, PP community; Policy outcome & impact. Plan of Final Paper.
  • Comparing across nations: quantitative vs qualitative methods, comparative approach & methods
    Choices in comparative research. Challenges for comparative public policy research. The practicalities of comparative research.
  • Contemporary social policy
    Definition of social policy. Goals of social policy. Target groups and beneficiaries of social policy. Different social policy instruments. Models and actors of social policy provision. Effectiveness of social policy. Contemporary global trends and social policy responses.
  • Restructuring Welfare states
    Examines how welfare states have been restructured in western democracies over the past 40 or so years, and how this has changed sociopolitical relations. Welfare and political sociology. Social policy and responsibilisation.
  • Welfare states around the world
    UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Poland, US, China, India, Russia. International aspects of social policy.
  • Social policy
    Poverty concepts and definitions. Poverty measures. Data sources for measuring poverty. Poverty profile. International comparisons of poverty. Poverty prevention programmes.
  • Social policy and social services
    Health. Housing. Social security. Personal social services. Education.
  • Health & family policies: learning from German and Sweden cases
    Theories of health and family policy development. Comparing health and family policies across nations. The scope of health and family policies.
  • Comparative education policy
    Education policy in globalized world. Successful education policy, its delivery, and how education policies may be transferred to other contexts.
  • Research project presentations & discussions
    Presentations of students’ policy papers, followed by a brief discussion.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Participation
  • non-blocking Home assignments
  • non-blocking Presentation of policy paper
  • non-blocking Policy Paper
    The retake of the control element (policy paper submission and presentation) is possible according to the exam schedule during the corresponding exam period in an online face-to-face format in Microsoft Teams. A student is supposed to make a presentation of the policy paper, using MS Teams, and then provide answers to the questions on the policy paper asked by the professor. The technical requirements for the online retake include 1) installation of MS Teams and login to the HSE account; 2) synchronous video and audio broadcasting of the student (face and voice must be recognizable); 3) slides presentation via screen sharing functionality; 4) provision of the professor with the policy paper (in *.doc, *.docx, or *.pdf format) and the presentation files (in *.ppt or *.pdf format); 5) reliable Internet connection (if the student's connection is interrupted during the Exam for a period of more than 10 minutes, the Exam is failed with "absent" record).
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.25 * Home assignments + 0.15 * Participation + 0.3 * Policy Paper + 0.3 * Presentation of policy paper


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Peters, B. G. (2013). Strategies for Comparative Research in Political Science. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1522713
  • Poverty, Inequality, and Evaluation : Changing Perspectives, edited by Ray C. Rist, et al., World Bank Publications, 2015. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/hselibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=4397393.
  • Shapiro, S. (2016). Analysis and Public Policy. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1194861
  • Thissen, W. A. H., & Walker, W. E. (2013). Public Policy Analysis : New Developments. New York: Springer. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=537663

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Barr, N. (2012). Economics of the Welfare State. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.b.oxp.obooks.9780199297818
  • Butler, I., & Drakeford, M. (2005). Scandal, Social Policy and Social Welfare (Vol. Rev. 2nd ed. consultant editor, Jo Campling). Bristol, UK: Policy Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=221106
  • Dolowitz, D. P., & Marsh, D. (2000). Learning from Abroad: The Role of Policy Transfer in Contemporary Policy-Making. Governance, 13(1), 5. https://doi.org/10.1111/0952-1895.00121
  • Eric French, & John Bailey Jones. (2010). The Effects of Health Insurance and Self-Insurance on Retirement Behavior. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.729DDA94
  • Karnani, A. (2011). Fighting Poverty Together : Rethinking Strategies for Business, Governments, and Civil Society to Reduce Poverty (Vol. First edition). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1230782
  • Knoepfel, P. (2007). Public Policy Analysis. Bristol: Policy Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=237148
  • Wellington, J. J., & Szczerbiński, M. (2007). Research Methods for the Social Sciences. London: Continuum. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=368537
  • World Health Organisation (WHO). (2015). World Report on Ageing and Health. Working Papers. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.p.ess.wpaper.id7816