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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Politics Short Name: POL504
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: GUERRINA R Dr (Politics)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability

Spring Semester 


Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment

Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)

Essay (3000 words)


Formal exam (two hours)


Qualifying Condition(s) 

 A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module.



Module Overview
This module will assess the development of a “European Social Dimension” as part of the process of European integration. It seeks to develop students’ understanding of various integration theories, and therefore engage with topical debates about the present and future of European integration.
More specifically, it explores the impact of Europeanization and globalisation on the European welfare model. It uncovers the complexities of social, political and cultural dynamics that determine the boundaries of Social Europe. It will assess the social and political framework underpinning the development of a “European Social Dimension” thus raising important questions about the overall aims of the EU vis-à-vis its member states.
Finally, the module will explore theoretical approaches to the study of European social policy, and will engage with ongoing debates about gender, ethnicity, social inclusion and exclusion, and democratic accountability.
Module Aims
This module will aim to:
  • Describe, analyse and understand the social dimension of European integration;
  • Apply theoretical models to practical examples in this field;
  • Consider the interaction between social, economic and political integration.
Learning Outcomes

At the end of this module, students should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • understand various theories of European integration, and their implications for social policy in Europe;
  • analyse critically the impact of Europeanization and globalisation on models of welfare provision in Europe;
  • identify and analyse variation in social provision across different European states.

Cognitive skills

  • deal with complex issues systematically and creatively;
  • demonstrate self-direction and originality in solving problems and analysing evidence;
  • gather, organize and deploy evidence and information from a range of different sources;
  • construct reasoned argument and exercise critical judgement
  • apply theoretical frameworks to empirical analysis

Practical skills

  • make appropriate use of information and communications technology
  • form effective arguments
  • organise workload to meet deadlines

Transferable skills

  • adopt a pro-active approach to problem solving
  • reason critically
  • make decisions in complex situations
  • work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organization and time-management
  • retrieve information from a wide variety of sources, including electronic sources.
Module Content

1.  Theory and Background

The first part of the module seeks to introduce the processes that have led to the institutionalisation of a “European Social Dimension” and the theories that have sought to explain this trend. The topics/issues covered are likely to include:

  • Economic and Social Cohesion
  • Development and Institutionalisation of Social policy in the EU
  • The European Social Dimension: a new welfare regime?

2.  Policy Areas

The second part of the module looks at specific policy areas, thus providing an in-depth discussion of current socio-political developments at the European level. The topics/issues covered are likely to include:

  • Employment
  • Gender, Equality and Equal Opportunities
  • Family
  • Citizenship and Human Rights
  • Migration, Immigration and Ethnicity
  • Education and Training
  • Poverty and Social Exclusion

3. Future Challenges

The final part of the module looks at current trends and challenges for the future of social integration. Issues covered are likely to include:

  • New policy making processes.
  • Market liberalisation and the future of European social policy.
Methods of Teaching/Learning
  • Lecture/Seminar
  • Debates and discussions
  • Independent and directed learning
  • Some problem-based learning
Selected Texts/Journals


Esping-Andersen (1990) The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, Princeton NJ, Princeton UP


Bradley, H. and Van Hoof, J. (2005) Young People in Europe: Labour Markets and Citizenship, Bristol, Policy Press.

Cousins, C. (1999) Work, Society and Welfare in Europe, Basingstoke, Macmillan 

Cousins, M. (2005) European Welfare States: Comparative Perspectives London , Sage.

Falkner, G. (1998) EU Social Policy in the 1990s: Towards a Corporatist Policy Community, London, and Routledge. 

Ferrera, M. (2005) The Boundaries of Welfare: European Integration and the New Spatial Politics of Social Protection, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Geyer, R. (2000) Exploring European Social Policy Cambridge, Polity Press.

Hantrais (2000) European Social Policy, Basingstoke, Palgrave

Kleinman (2001) A European Welfare State? European Union Social Policy in Context, Basingstoke, Palgrave

Pestieau, P. (2005) The Welfare State in the European Union: Economic and Social Perspectives Oxford, Oxford University Press. 

Sykes, R. et al (eds) (2001) Globalization and European Welfare States, Basingstoke , Palgrave 

Taylor Gooby, P. (ed) (2004) New Risks, New Welfare: the Transformation of the European Welfare State, Oxford , Oxford University Press. 

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