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North, South, East, West: Comparative Social Policy - SOCX811

This unit investigates and analyses social policy experiments around the world. Social policies that aim to enhance public welfare are often incorrectly considered to solely be the province of wealthy Western democracies. In fact, some of the most interesting social policy experiments in recent times have occurred in East Asia, Latin America and beyond. In this unit we build on foundational knowledge established in earlier core social policy units (SGY881, SGYX818) and core methodology units (SGY888 and SGY889), which we strongly recommend that you do before undertaking this unit. We extend our analysis to social policy in richer and poorer countries, considering similarities as well as differences in scale, scope, instruments and politics. The course proceeds in three sections. The first engages with frameworks for comparing social policies, welfare states and understanding historical developments. The second section considers recent developments in the welfare regimes of Europe, North America and the Antipodes. The third section outlines contemporary experiments in East Asia, Latin America and Africa, contemplating their implications for how we understand social policy.

All enrolment queries should be directed to Open Universities Australia (OUA): see

When Offered:

S1 OUA - Session 1, offered through Open Universities Australia

Staff Contact(s): Dr Adam Stebbing

(SGY881 or SOCX810) and (SGYX818 or SOCX818) and admission to MPASR or GradDipPASR or GradCertPASR Prerequisite Information


(SGY888 or SOCX831) and (SGY889 or SOCX830)

NCCW(s): SOCI811
Unit Designation(s):
Unit Type: OUA
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Sociology

Faculty of Arts

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
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