Social and Labour Market Policies

A.Y. 2020/2021
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
SPS/04
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
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, after introducing some basic concepts and notions on social policies, the course outlines - in a comparative perspective - the historical evolution of welfare systems and the major features of the Italian welfare model are illustrated. The comparative exploration of the Italian case is then developed and three social policy sectors are investigated more in depth: pension, health care and social assistance policies, 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. Finally, the course aims to analyze the challenges posed by the integration process to national welfare systems and the growing role played by European institutions in the social sphere.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, students will be able to describe the configuration and evolution of the Italian welfare system in a comparative perspective and to identify, for the policy areas covered (pensions, health care, social assistance, company-based welfare and EU social policy), which are the main socio-demographic and economic challenges and the lines of reform undertaken by Italy in the past and especially in the last decade. Moreover, students will be able to use the acquired knowledge to frame critically the current policy choices, linked to the functioning of the Italian social protection system, even if these have not been directly addressed during the lessons.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
Third trimester
Course syllabus
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 three social policy sectors are investigated more in depth: pension, health care and social assistance policies. 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, social assistance policies and corporate welfare.

The third module focuses on the study of the social dimension of the European Union (EU). In this module we analyse the main challenges posed to the national welfare systems by the integration process and the increasing role played by the EU institutions in the social policy sector following the adoption of the Treaty of Lisbon and in response to the multiple crises that hit Europe in the last decade.
More precisely, the lectures will focus on the following topics:
- the political system of the EU: main institutions and policy-making process;
- the widening and deepening of the European integration and the constraints posed to the domestic welfare systems;
- the lines of tension between the economic integration of the EU and the logic of solidarity of member states;
- the concept of European solidarity and its main analytical dimensions;
- the potential reconciliation between the economic and the social dimensions of the EU through the analysis of the proposal of building a European Social Union (ESU) and its main components.
During the lectures data, at both the aggregate and the individual level, supporting the arguments detailed above will be shown, and recent EU-level policy initiatives aimed to strengthen European solidarity will be discussed.
Prerequisites for admission
In order to better understand the content of this course, students should be familiar with the basic concepts of political science addressed in Political and Administrative Systems course.
Teaching methods
Lessons, class discussions, group exercises.
Teaching Resources
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 webpage and are part of the course's compulsory readings.
- During lessons further short readings may be suggested to complete the program.

Readings and requirements - Module 3
- Ferrera, M. Rotta di collisione. Euro contro welfare? Bari: Laterza, 2016, Introduction and chapters 1, 3 and 4.
- Slides used in class will be available on the course webpage and are part of the course's compulsory readings.
- Additional readings will be communicated at the beginning of the course.

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.
SPS/04 - POLITICAL SCIENCE - University credits: 9
Lessons: 60 hours
Professor(s)
Reception:
Monday from 14.00 to 17.00. At the moment I am available remotely: I can be contacted by e-mail, and, by appointment, on MS Teams or phone.
Department of Social and Political Sciences, room no. 17, second floor