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Charles R. Hale, Director SRH 1.310, 2300 Red River Street D0800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512.471.5551

Fall 2006


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
41445 T
4:00 PM-7:00 PM
BUR 214

Course Description

The course examines social policies in the context of the economic transition in developing countries to free markets and deregulation. The aim of the course is to anchor the discussion of social policy in the experiences of different countries and regions of the developing world. We will begin with an overview of the evolution of social policy in the developed world, using Peter Lindert's Growing public: social spending and economic growth since the eighteenth century. We use Linderts account to put into perspective the emergence in developing countries of de-centralized social policies based on targeting and private-sector provision rather than universal welfare systems. We will examine the advantages and disadvantages of the new policies and their consequences for politics, welfare and the development of rights and citizenship in the developing world. We will pay particular attention to the role of community in the new social policies, focussing on issues of participation and solidarity, as well as issues of the increasing social and spatial inequality brought by urbanization in a globalized economy. Students may concentrate on one or more sectors of social policy, such as education, health, anti-poverty programs, housing, labor and social security. Students can choose to concentrate on a country or region of their choice for exploring the issues discussed in the weekly seminars. Latin America will be an important focus, but we will also look at the social policy challenges in Asia and Africa. Assessment will be based on short reports on the readings relevant to the themes of the week and on a final research paper dealing with an aspect of comparative social policies. Seminars will begin by an introductory talk by the Instructor and proceed through presentations of group reports on the weekly readings. These readings will be made available through Blackboard, Electronic Reserve and Book reserve. Students will be organized in groups. Members of each group will read three articles/chapters (one required reading each week, a second chosen from the reading list and one selected by the student, which is not on the reading list). Reports on the two optional readings will be posted to the Group discussion Board. One member of the group, in rotation, will have the additional responsibility of summarizing the main points coming from the reports in a 1-2 page report to the Class Discussion Board.


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