Ever since the inception of Western welfare states in the early twentieth century their development was closely linked to fundamental processes of social change; in fact, in this period the welfare state was erected in reaction to the transformation of Western societies from a predominantly agricultural to an urbanized, industrial society. Social security schemes, collective health care and educational systems, social housing programs and social welfare arrangements were established in order to address the risks that were produced by social processes such as industrialization and urbanisation, and meant to alleviate the inequalities of the emerging capitalist economy. In our time, Western societies once again go through a period of far-reaching social change, which challenges the foundations on which the welfare state was built in the twentieth century. Fundamental social processes such as post-industrialization, individualization, women’s emancipation, migration and ageing urge politicians and policy makers to rethink social policy schemes, and to propose and implement reforms. This course focuses on the relationship between welfare state development and social change, in the past and in the present, in the Netherlands and abroad. It addresses the origins of the welfare state, its various components and their organization, and its transformation in our time in relation to the above mentioned processes of social change.
- To be able to interpret and explain various topical issues concerning the welfare state and social change, and the relationship between the two
- To be able to apply and relate theoretical approaches to social change and welfare state change from an interdisciplinary perspective.
- To be able to report findings clearly, and in a properly organised and well-documented manner