Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


Introduces students to some of the major long-standing differences in the social and economic role of the state in different clusters of advanced capitalist countries. The main comparison will be between liberal (e.g. US), corporatist (e.g. Germany) and social democratic (e.g. Sweden) capitalist systems. Most attention will be paid to social policy but some reference will be made to aspects of economic policy. The course will also assess the extent to which these long-standing differences are being eroded by developments associated with the term 'globalisation'. Does globalisation entail policy convergence and a transfer of power from the nation-state to transnational corporations and supranational state institutions? How is globalisation affecting the poorest countries?


Not currently offered.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Describe a public policy in terms of underlying elements (history, philosophy, level of expenditure, role of the state vis a vis individuals, the market and not-for-profit sector, mode of service delivery).

2. Apply the typology of liberal, corporatist and social democratic policies to assess the character of a particular public policy.

3. Analyse the possible impact of globalisation on public policy within a particular field within a particular country.

4. Analyse the ways in which the position of a poor country is likely to be affected by globalisation and by the social policies of supra-national state bodies.

5. Effectively communicate and disseminate the analysis referred to in the first four course objectives.


  • Public policy in the modern (pre 1975) national era: comparing liberal, corporatist and social democratic countries
  • Monetary and fiscal policy
  • Trade and industry policy
  • Education
  • Employment generation and wages policy
  • Income support
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Community services
  • Media and cultural policy
  • Gender implications
  • Globalisation post 1975
  • Growth in: (i) concentration and mobility of private business capital (ii) role of supra-national state bodies and of international labour/ngo activism
  • National policy responses to globalisation
  • Global poverty: not even a liberal-residual approach?
  • Contending models of economic and social policy assistance (the IMF, the World Bank, ILO and NGO's)

Assumed knowledge

20 units of study at 1000 level.

Assessment items

Report: Comparative report

Essay: Essay

Written Assignment: Oral and written summary/critique of one coursepack reading

Participation: Contribution to group discussions