POL8061 : Welfare Attitudes: A Comparative Politics Approach
- Offered for Year: 2019/20
- Module Leader(s): Dr Diana Burlacu
- Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
- Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
|Semester 2 Credit Value:||20|
In this module, we examine why some people support welfare policies while others do not. We
consider both individual and contextual factors that influence individuals' support for particular
social policies, and for the welfare state in general. The key aims of this module are:
(1) To introduce students to the main theories of welfare attitudes.
(2) To provide students with practical skills to measure and analyse public attitudes.
(3) To increase students' capacity to appraise academic research on, and popular accounts of, public attitudes.
(4) To engage students with the comparative study of public opinion.
Outline Of Syllabus
The module is divided into three parts. First, the module introduces the key concepts of welfare state and welfare attitudes. Second, the module discusses different theories of individual predictors of welfare attitudes. The module concludes by examining welfare attitudes across time and countries. Statistical techniques varying from graphs, cross-tabulations to correlations and regression analysis (according to students' skills) are used to exemplify diverse empirical applications of the main theories.
1. Welfare states and welfare attitudes – introduction to the module.
2. Welfare states: history and typology.
3. Welfare attitudes: types and measurements.
What explains individuals' welfare attitudes?
4. A rational choice approach.
5. A sociological approach.
6. A social psychological approach.
How/why do public attitudes differ across countries?
7. Policy feedback effects and the regime hypothesis.
8. Public v policy responsiveness.
9. Globalisation, migration and inequality.
10. Review, recap and preparation for final assignment.
Cavaillé, Charlotte and Trump, Kris-Stella. 2015. The two facets of social policy preferences. Journal
of Politics, 77(1):146–160
Edlund, Jonas. 1999. Progressive taxation farewell? Attitudes to income redistribution and taxation in Sweden, Great Britain and the United States. in Svallfors, S. and Taylor-Gooby, P. (Eds), The end of welfare state? Public response to state retrenchment. Routledge
Jensen, Carsten, and Michael Bang Petersen. 2017. The deservingness heuristic and the politics of health care. American Journal of Political Science 61(1): 68-83.
Zhu, Ling, and Christine S Lipsmeyer. 2015. Policy feedback and economic risk: the influence of privatization on social policy preferences. Journal of European Public Policy 22(10): 1489-1511.
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Small group teaching||11||2:00||22:00||N/A|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Workshops||4||2:00||8:00||N/A|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Drop-in/surgery||2||1:00||2:00||N/A|
|Guided Independent Study||Independent study||1||168:00||168:00||N/A|
Teaching Rationale And Relationship
Seminars will give students the opportunity to present and discuss theoretical ideas and empirical applications based on the weekly assigned readings. The module leader will provide the slides, data and instructions for students to generate the tables/graphs discussed during the seminars.
Workshops will provide students with hands-on experience with the statistical techniques needed to develop similar empirical applications.
Drop-in/surgeries will provide additional guidance for students when preparing the literature review, research design and empirical analysis for the final research paper.
The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners
|Research paper||2||M||100||4000 word research paper|
Assessment Rationale And Relationship
The research paper will test students' ability:
• To address a major question in the area of comparative welfare attitudes.
• To draw upon and engage critically with the relevant literature.
• To formulate simple theoretical expectations based on cited literature.
• To design a simple research design.
• To identify and synthetize relevant empirical data/evidence.
• To evaluate whether empirical evidence supports the formulated theoretical expectations.
The research paper outline will give students the opportunity to receive early feedback on the outline of their final research paper.