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  • 24210 74771
  • 24210 74776
  • 28hs Octovriou 78, Volos, P.C. 38333


Duration: 3 hours per week - 13 weeks (ECTS: 5)

Course Outline

This course provides an examination of historical and contemporary social welfare policy issues (namely income inequalities and poverty, labour market and social insurance, the health care system and education inequalities). The significance of social, economic, and political factors that influence policymaking and implementation in the social policy field will be critically discussed during the lectures. The topics that will be covered in lectures will be subdivided in four broad areas: health and health care, labor market (and social insurance), education and welfare (income security and income inequality policies). The social policies of the USA and the European Union countries will also be discussed in lectures, with a special emphasis on the Greek social policy system and the structural challenges that affect its efficiency and quality of services provided to the society. In detail, the topics discussed are:

  1. Introduction: Historical overview. The European Social Policy Welfare state (definition, goals, historical evolution). The contemporary and modern shortcomings of the welfare state.
  2. Social Policy (definition, implementation, shortcomings, schools of thought in social policy).
  3. Economic theory and social protection. Reasons for public intervention and provision of welfare (moral hazard, induced demand, adverse selection, asymmetric information, externalities).
  4. Structure and financing of the social protection schemes (retirement and pensions, efficiency problems, current challenges and social insurance schemes).
  5. Health care policy (demand and supply of health care services, efficiency, the state of health care system in Greece).
  6. Unemployment policies (basic problems, labour market mechanisms, employment protection).
  7. Poverty and Homelessness, policies to address income inequality and poverty.
  8. Social inequalities in educational policies.

Learning Outcomes

  • By the end of the semester, the students should be able to:
  • Comprehend the way social policy systems work
  • Understand the way social policy systems are designed and formulated and the modern challenges faced by social policies nationwide
  • Understand the reasons and the specific characteristics of social policies that necessitate public intervention
  • Critically discuss and analyse modern social policy systems
  • Understand and critically assess modern social policies in EU countries

Administrative Structure