Fall 2023  |  PA 5662 Section 001: Gender & Social Policy in Europe & the Americas (33522)

Class Component:
3 Credits
Grading Basis:
A-F or Audit
Instructor Consent:
No Special Consent Required
Instruction Mode:
In Person
Enrollment Requirements:
Graduate Student
Meets With:
PA 8662 Section 001
Times and Locations:
Regular Academic Session
09/05/2023 - 12/13/2023
Mon, Wed 09:45AM - 11:00AM
UMTC, West Bank
Hubert H Humphrey Center 35
Enrollment Status:
Open (9 of 20 seats filled)
Also Offered:
Course Catalog Description:
The variety of approaches to social welfare policies around the globe - from pensions to poverty relief to parental leave - offer many lessons not only for how to address basic needs, but also for building more gender- and race- equitable societies. This course provides conceptual and historical grounding for understanding the origins and impacts of social welfare policies, and how these policies serve as crucial arbiters of gender, race and class relations. The course compares historical and contemporary social policy regimes and their impacts on individuals and societies in Europe and the Americas. The course centers on four questions: 1) How are social policies "gendered", "raced" and "classed"? The course readings and discussions consider multiple feminist perspectives and approaches which show how social policies are based on specific assumptions about gender and its intersections with race, class, and immigrant status, and in turn create or reinforce a particular social order. 2) Why do social policies in different countries look so different? The course traces the historical development of specific social welfare regimes with attention to interactions between states, political parties, unions, firms, and social movements. Understanding the historical political determinants of current policies can provide clues to appropriate strategies for change. 3) What lessons can we glean from other countries to promote equity across gender and other forms of inequality? The course dives into research that measures the impact of specific social policies on equity and considers the appropriateness and transferability of policy ideas across borders. 4) What are the contemporary challenges to social welfare systems and their ability to promote gender equity? The course considers a variety of such challenges such as stagnating birth rates that threaten the economic solvency of social policy systems; the pressures of refugees and mass migration; and how the global COVID-19 pa
Class Notes:
Class Description:
This course meets with 5662 and shares readings, discussions and some assignments. Doctoral students have a research paper requirement.
Who Should Take This Class?:
Students interested in understanding different countries' approaches to social policies that address gender inequalities, in order to draw lessons for their own policy context. Students that want to sharpen their gender and intersectional analytical abilities. Course counts for the MPP Gender and Public Policy Concentration.
Learning Objectives:

• Develop a deeper understanding of the sometimes-hidden ways social policies create, alleviate, or reinscribe gender, race, and class inequalities

• Acquire evidence-based lessons from around the world on what policies have worked best to reduce gender inequalities and their intersections with other forms of inequality

• Gain clarity on the major contemporary challenges to social welfare systems and their gendered impacts - from influxes of refugees to the COVID-19 pandemic

• Take lessons from history for thinking analytically and strategically about opportunities for pragmatic and transformational social policy change

• Present and articulate complex ideas clearly and in a manner suitable for a policy audience.

Four to five article or chapter length readings per week. Regular response papers. Assignments that put the core concepts into practice.
Instructor Supplied Information Last Updated:
13 April 2023

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