The course aims to analyze the evolution of the Italian welfare state in a comparative perspective, with a particular attention both to recently adopted reforms - aimed at tackling demographic, socio-economic and politico-institutional challenges - and to future prospects. To this end, the course is structured into three parts. The first part, after introducing some basic concepts and notions on social policies, outlines - in a comparative perspective - the historical evolution of welfare systems: the major features of the Italian welfare model are illustrated. The comparative exploration of the Italian case is then developed and four social policy sectors are investigated more in depth: pension, health care and social assistance policies as well as the study of education policies, focusing on education inequalities, their origins and contemporary reforms associated with accountability. The focus will be placed on the challenges addressed by policy-makers and on recent reforms, with particular attention to identify the major political dynamics and the role of social and political actors in the "recalibration" processes of the national welfare system. The course examines also the ongoing transformations of the Italian social protection system in the light of the "second welfare" perspective by taking into consideration the role played by non-public actors in the following areas: corporate, occupational, and territorial welfare.
The first two modules are dedicated to the introduction of the welfare state and its historical evolution, and to the study of pension, health, socio-welfare policies and corporate welfare.
The third module is dedicated to the deepening of educational policies in primary and secondary school with a comparative approach. Much of this module is dedicated to the study of public education systems, their origins and historical evolution and institutional consolidation.
Prerequisites for admission
In order to better understand the content of this course, students should know the basic concepts of political science addressed in Political and Administrative Systems course.
Readings and requirements - Module 1 and 2
- M. Ferrera (ed.), Le politiche sociali, Bologna, il Mulino, 2019, capp. 1, 2, 4, 5 (è fondamentale acquistare la nuova edizione del manuale, pubblicata nel 2019).
- F. Maino e F. Razetti, Fare rete per fare welfare. Dalle aziende ai territori: strumenti, attori e processi, Torino, Giappichelli, 2019.
- Slides will be made available on the course website and are part of the program.
- During lessons further short readings may be suggested to complete the program.
Readings and requirements - Module 3
- Checchi, D (1997). La disuguaglianza. Istruzione e mercato del lavoro. Roma: Laterza.
- Eurydice/INDIRE (2018). Il sistema educativo italiano. INDIRE: Roma.
- Mattei, P. (2012) Market accountability in schools: policy reforms in England, Germany, France and Italy", in Oxford Review of Education, 38, 2, 2012, pp.1-20.
- West A. 'Education in Schools' (2012) in P. Alcock, A. Erskine and M. May (eds.), The Student's Companion to Social Policy, 4th edition, London: Blackwell.
Materiale di approfondimento
- Gewirtz, S. et al. (1995) Markets, Choice and Equity in Education, Buckingham: Open University Press, (chapters 1, 2, 7).
- Glennerster, Howard (1998), 'Education: reaping the harvest', in H.Glennerster and J.Hills (eds.), The State of Welfare, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 27-74.
- Mattei, P and A. Aguilar (2016), Secular Institutions, Islam and Education Policy. France and the U.S. in Comparative Perspective, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
There are no differences in the program between attending and non-attending students.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam takes place in written form and includes open questions and some multiple choice tests, both aimed at ascertaining the acquisition of basic skills for the analysis of social and labour market policies. One or more open questions will be aimed at verifying the ability to consciously and critically use the key concepts at the basis of social policies.
Students who obtain a mark of at least 27/30 in the written examination can request to take an oral exam (concerning all the topics covered in the course) to improve the final evaluation. Taking the oral exam, however, does not necessarily lead to an improvement in the final mark.
The exam aims to verify that students have learned the concepts and notions covered by the course, they know how to express them clearly (using the correct terminology), and they are able to apply them to the analysis of new phenomena and case studies.
A website is available where students can find information and materials for the exam preparation. It can be accessed from the the following link http://ariel.ctu.unimi.it