Social Problems And Social Policy


Course description:

The course introduces students to the processes that give rise to social problems and the consequences they entail for modern societies. It explains the basic processes that are set in motion by anything that is defined as a social problem, so as to analyze the different methods and practices in confronting it. Τhe literature in the course focuses on the mechanisms used in addressing social problems,which allows us to describe and analyze social protection policies as elements of social policy in contemporary states.


Ι. Basic social problems in the contemporary world

  • Descriptionandcontent
  • Causes and consequences
  • Prioritizing social problems in the modern world

The basic social problems that will be examined in this context are the following: poverty and social inequalities, illness, access to education, migration and migratory flows, violence and crime, gender inequality, new forms of inequality, and more.

ΙΙ. Designing social protection interventions

  • Types and models of social protection policy; the welfare state
  • Key concepts in social policy
  • Areas of intervention
  • Key approaches to social protection mechanisms

ΙΙΙ. Contemporary examples in Europe and beyond

  • Systemsofsocialprotection
  • Re-envisioning approaches to social protection

Course objectives:

By the end of the course, students will be able to do the following:

a) recognize and describe the processes through which social problems emerge in the contemporary world

b) describe the mechanisms in place for confronting elements of social pathologies, as these are prioritized in the context of the contemporary state and its institutions

c) discuss key concepts such as the welfare state, social security, social protection, social solidarity, equality, redistribution of income
d) possess the analytical tools necessary for recognizing the means and central goals of social policy interventions


Essay examination at the end of the semester (100%)

Oral examination if deemed necessary (prior notice will be given)


Standard in greek

• Spicker P. (2004),TheWelfare State. AGeneralTheoryDionikos,
•Stasinopoulou, O (1990), Welfare State.Historical development-Modern theoreticalapproaches, Gutenberg

Additonal in greek

  • Venieris D. / Papatheodorou Ch. (Eds.) (2003), Social Policy in Greece. Challenges and prospects, Greek Letters
  • D Gravaris. (1997), Crisis of the welfare state and modernity Foundation Saki Karagiorga
  • Gough I. (2008), The political economy of the welfare state, Savalas.
  • Pantazis, A. (2010), Karl Marx – Karl Polanyi. The birth of the welfare state, Thinker
  • Petmezidou Tsoulouvi-M. (1992), Social Inequalities and Social Policy, Exantas
  • Stasinopoulou, O. (1990), Welfare State. Historical development-Modern theoretical approaches, Gutenberg
  • Stasinopoulou, O (1996), contemporary social policy issues. From the welfare state to the “new” privileged pluralism, Gutenberg