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Regular version of the site
Master 2022/2023

Comparative Social Policy Analysis

Category 'Best Course for New Knowledge and Skills'
Type: Elective course (Politics. Economics. Philosophy)
Area of studies: Political Science
When: 1 year, 3, 4 module
Mode of studies: offline
Open to: students of all HSE University campuses
Master’s programme: Политика. Экономика. Философия
Language: English
ECTS credits: 6
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 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.
  • 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
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction in public policy analysis
  • Comparing across nations: quantitative vs qualitative methods, comparative approach & methods
  • Contemporary social policy
  • Restructuring Welfare states
  • Welfare states around the world
  • Social policy
  • Social policy and social services
  • Health & family policies: learning from German and Sweden cases
  • Comparative education policy
  • Research project presentations & discussions
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Participation
    Students are supposed to actively participate in class discussions, share the results of their individual research on particular aspects of a chosen policy, ask questions to classmates, engage in group work, present the results of the group work.
  • non-blocking Homework
    The assignments are adapted from Morse, Kristin; Struyk, Raymond J. 2006. Policy Analysis for Effective Development: Strengthening Transition Economies. Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. #1 “Stakeholder Analysis” – Pages 52-54. #2 “Monitoring and Evaluating Programs” – Pages 229-234. #3 “Policy Alternatives Evaluation” – Pages 378 and 19-21.
  • non-blocking Presentation of policy paper
  • non-blocking Policy paper
    A student is supposed to make a presentation of the policy paper and then provide answers to the questions on the policy paper asked by the professor and the peers.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2022/2023 4th module
    0.2 * Homework + 0.3 * Policy paper + 0.3 * Presentation of policy paper + 0.2 * Participation


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