Course syllabus

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.

LATE ASSIGNMENTS: I will accept late assignments without an extension up to a week after the due date, however a late penalty will be applied. Refer to the course outline for more information. 

Course teacher: Jordan King.


Room: HSB 908

Office hours: Thursday 2-4pm


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;
  • Ways differences in the values driving welfare states:
    • maintain or challenge gendered and racialised assumptions;
    • impact upon citizens and citizenship;
    • 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.

Note that there are three hours of class each week and the second hour of the Monday two hour block will be tutorial, while the first hour and the separate hour will be lectures.  It is expected everyone will attend all three hoursYou need to complete reading responses for tutorials and the first one is due in week one - see course outline for details!  There is a template in 'modules' - 'reading response assignment'.

Check out this video for a short introduction to the welfare state!

Course summary:

Date Details Due