Introduction to Social Policy PDF Print

Y16- Introduction to Social Policy

Tutor: Dimitris Venieris



Short Description:

Social Policy is focused on those aspects of the economy, society and polity that are necessary to human existence and the means by which they can be provided. These basic human needs include: food and shelter, a sustainable and safe environment, the promotion of health and treatment of the sick, the care and support of those unable to live a fully independent life; and the education and training of individuals to a level that enables them fully to participate in their society. The study of Social Policy is designed to reflect on the ways in which different societies have developed ways of meeting these needs, or have failed to do so. This is an introductory course/discussion of the multi-disciplinary academic field of social policy, emphasizing issues of definition, scope, ideas, and content of social policies. This includes the formation and development of social policy, the evolution of the aims and principles of the welfare state, problems of redistributive justice and ethical issues in social policy, concepts of need and social welfare. Examples arising from contemporary social policy in Greece contribute to a wider understanding of the social policy issues.


The aim of this course is to help students understand basic concepts, different theoretical approaches and major questions in Social Policy. Students will be expected to understand these different approaches and explore their implications from the perspective of different disciplinary and ideological traditions. Most importantly, students will be encouraged to realise the crucial role of Social Policy in social and individual welfare.

Learning Outcomes:

By completing this course students are expected to be able to:

  • understand and use basic concepts of the Social Policy discipline
  • understand and use basic concepts of social policies – the Social Policy field and intervention
  • understand and describe the main fields and methods of Social Policy
  • discuss and understand current Social Policy problems/issues


13 three-hour lectures.


Students will be evaluated on the basis of a written examination at the end of the semester.


Baldock J., Manning N., Miller S., Vickerstaff S. (1999), Social Policy, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Dean H. (2006), Social Policy, Cambridge: Polity.
Esping-Andersen C. (2006), The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, Ellinika Grammata, Athens.
Esping-Andersen G, Gallie D., Hemerijck A., Myles J (2006), Why We Need a New Welfare State, Dionikos, Athens.
Titmuss R. M. (1974), Social Policy: An Introduction, London: Allen & Unwin.
Venieris D. (2013), European Social Policy and Social Rights, 2nd edition, Athens: Topos.