Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 201800294
Key challenges to the welfare state: Social policy and social change
Course infoSchedule
Course code201800294
ECTS Credits7.5
Category / Level2 (Bachelor Elaborating)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byFaculty of Social Sciences; Undergraduate School Sociale Wetenschappen; Interdisciplinary social and behavioural sciences;
Contact persondr. M.J.M. Hoogenboom
dr. M.J.M. Hoogenboom
Other courses by this lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. M.J.M. Hoogenboom
Other courses by this lecturer
dr. R.J.T. van Rijsselt
Other courses by this lecturer
Teaching period
3  (08/02/2021 to 23/04/2021)
Teaching period in which the course begins
Time slotC: MON-afternoon, TUE-afternoon,THU-morning
Study mode
Enrolment periodfrom 28/10/2020 18:00 up to and including 29/11/2020
Enrolling through OSIRISYes
Enrolment open to students taking subsidiary coursesYes
Post-registration openfrom 25/01/2021 18:00 up to and including 26/01/2021
Waiting listNo
Course placement processniet van toepassing
  • 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 
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.
Entry requirements
Required materials
Instructional formats

Class session preparation
Students are expected to attend all lectures but attendance is not mandatory. Prior to the lectures, students are required to read and prepare the course literature.

Work group

Contribution to group work
Students are required to attend all tutorials, are required to read and prepare the course literature or assignments beforehand and are expected to participate actively in the tutorials. Assignments must be submitted on time.


Digital exam
Test weight50
Minimum grade5.5

The ability to understand, compare and analyse theoretical and empirical literature about the welfare state and social change.

Test weight50
Minimum grade5.5

The ability to collect and structure social policy documents and integrate the various theoretical approaches to the welfare state and social change, and to do this in a coherent, well-structured manner.

Kies de Nederlandse taal