12040 The Welfare State: Citizenship, Rights and Resource Distribution 1

Credits: 3 graduate credits in Democracy Studies / Society and Politics or Government and Public Policy

Prerequisites: Democracy: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Israeli Democracy: Selected Issues, Contemporary Democratic Theories; one of the following: Democracy and Democratization, Selected Topics in Public Administration (or Public Policy: Theory to Practice); and exemption from bibliographic assignments on computer searches in the “Alef” catalog and databases.

The course is based on a collection of theoretical and empirical articles that introduce and illustrate diverse theoretical approaches and central topics in the study of the welfare state, edited by Zeev Rosenhek.

Since the last decades of the 20th century, extensive theoretical and empirical literature on the welfare state has emerged in the social sciences. This scholarship focuses mainly on the processes of emergence and development of the welfare state, its function, and its various social and political effects. Most studies in this field employ broad analytical frameworks, and examine the welfare state within the social, political and economic contexts of advanced capitalist societies. Thus, the welfare state is analyzed as one of the basic elements of the socio-political order that characterizes advanced capitalism. The far-reaching effects of the welfare state are manifested in key dimensions of the social order, at both the macro and the micro levels, such as the functioning of the economic arena and its relations with the political arena, the determination of life chances of individuals and social groups, and the relationships between the state and its citizens. Furthermore, because of the strong connection between the welfare state and the concept of citizenship and its extension to the socio-economic field, welfare policy represents a central site for the study of the modern democratic regime and its dynamics, as related to the complex relationships between social, political and economic processes and factors.

Topics: What is the welfare state?; The welfare state, citizenship and social rights; Welfare regimes; The politics of the welfare state: class politics, the state as an actor and the state as an institutional structure; Inclusion and exclusion: ethnicity, immigration, gender; Redistributional effects; The contemporary welfare state: continuity, retrenchment or restructuring?; The welfare state in Israel: selected issues.

1Students may write a seminar paper in this course, although it is not required.