Changing Welfare State Policies

Please note: this is archived course information from 2021 for SOCIOL 317.


This course examines the differing origins and possible futures of welfare states. Using a range of theoretical viewpoints, the course considers the historical shift from a Keynesian welfare state to a neoliberal state and questions whether recent "Third Way" policies provide a solution to future welfare needs. The course is comparative but includes a significant focus on Aotearoa New Zealand.

Course aims

At the end of the course you should have gained knowledge and understanding about:

  • Where the New Zealand welfare state is situated in comparison with other countries;
  • The historical development of the welfare state in New Zealand and internationally
  • The ways that differences in the values driving welfare states maintain or challenge gendered and racialised assumptions, impact upon citizens and citizenship and reflect different political perspectives and institutional histories

In addition to standard writing and literacy skills, you will develop specific research skills appropriate to a policy-related course. These include:

  • Reflecting on and synthesising concepts and ideas from a wide range of academic and other relevant sources
  • Constructing and presenting appropriate arguments about policy issues as the basis for assessment tasks
  • Developing comparative policy analysis skills across different policy areas and across different countries

View the course syllabus

Availability 2021

Not taught in 2021


Lecturer(s) Dr Louise Humpage


A course reader will be made available via CANVAS.


Coursework + exam


SOCIOL 317: 15 points


30 points at Stage II in International Relations and Business or Employment Relations and Organisational Studies or Sociology, or SOCSCIPH 200