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First semester
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Learning outcomes of the course unit

This course aims to provide the student with a set of knowledge regarding the origins, development, main characteristics, crisis and transformation of European welfare systems, as well as the challenges that these will have to face for the future. Starting from the concept of welfare state, the course will focus on the study of the characteristics, dynamics and problems of contemporary welfare systems. In this way, we intend to make available to future social workers some reading keys to understand the salient features of welfare policies in a comparative perspective and some keys to interpret the main strengths and weaknesses.


This course does not require special prerequisites

Course contents summary

The course will be organized in two different parts: the first one, dedicated to the presentation of the concept of welfare state and its historical evolution, of the main theories and models of welfare, as well as of the current trajectories of change at a comparative level; the second one, in which issues such as poverty, housing policies, reconciliation policies for care and work, health policies aimed at the elderly and in particular long term care, policies aimed at immigrants will be addressed.

Recommended readings

Ranci, C., Pavolini, E., (2015), Le politiche di welfare, Bologna, Il Mulino.

For attending students, the program of examination may be partially different because in-depth readings will be provided in the second part of the course which will replace some chapters of the book. The professor is available for any clarification both during reception hours and via email.

Teaching methods

The teaching activity will be conducted mostly with lectures in the first part of the course, in any case by promoting the exchanges and the discussions with the students. The second part of the course will alternate lectures with exercises and group work, rather than seminar lessons. The use of the Elly electronic environment is envisaged for sharing slides, readings, information and notices.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam will be written and will focus on the exam book. In particular, it will be composed by 3 open-ended questions with no answer limits (time available: 90 minutes). The questions are open and general, and have the aim not only of assessing notional learning, but also the ability of the students to process critically and interconnect between various "chapters" of study.
For attending students, a report (3/4 pages) on one of the issues addressed in the second part of the course will be added to the written test (2 open-ended questions). More details will be provided by the teacher during the course.
The final evaluation will be the result of the average of the scores obtained by the student in the different tests. In particular, for attending students the written test, evaluated expressed in thirtieths, represents the 50% of the final mark, while the other 50% is represented by the report evaluation. For non-attending students the final mark is the result of the written test.