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LAW The Welfare State

Public Interest Law: Direct Legal Services

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Public Interest Law
Direct Legal Services

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LAW 765

The Welfare State

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[ Academia ] Public Interest Law: Direct Legal Services

Why it is relevant for ...

[ Academia ] as a Relevant Course outside SLS for those interested in Poverty Law : Direct services and civil rights lawyers often serve clients who need access to welfare benefits. This course provides an overview of the growth and current status of the system of welfare benefits in the U.S. and Western Europe. It is particularly useful for an understanding of the factors affecting current trends toward austerity, including the effects of immigration and globalization.

General course Description:

Much has been written in recent years about the decline of the welfare state. Numerous adjectives have been applied to describe a trend toward austerity -- death, demise, withering, reversal. One writer suggested that the welfare state had not died, it had merely "moved to Asia" along with industrialization. This seminar introduces students to the key literature, questions, and debates about the modern welfare state. We will consider the emergence, growth, and current status of the welfare state, primarily in Western Europe and North America. The course will examine classical theories about markets and the emergence of social provision. We will also consider the leading theoretical and empirical research addressing the emergence of the welfare state, looking at the American case in comparative perspective. Attention will be paid to social and political factors on state development including political parties, labor markets, gender, demographic change, and immigration. We will then turn to the trend toward austerity and retrenchment, and the effect of globalization for the future of the welfare state. Course Requirements. Participation/Discussion (25%). Students are responsible to complete all readings and to come to class prepared to actively participate in discussion. Each student is responsible to lead a portion of the discussion twice per quarter. Short Reaction Papers (25%). All students must complete 5 reaction papers related to the weekly readings of 2 to 3 pages in length. Reaction papers will include a list of questions to be addressed in that week's discussion. All reaction papers must be posted to coursework in advance of class so that the student(s) leading that week's discussion can incorporate the questions into that week's discussion. Final Options (50%). Students have the option of completing one final paper of 20 pages in length OR 4 essays of 5 -6 pages each addressing the readings in weeks that the student did NOT complete reaction papers. Topics for 20 page papers must be approved by me in advance, and may be related to a student's dissertation or master's research or may be a stand-alone topic. Papers may take the form of a research proposal and need not contain original empirical research. Shorter papers should engage thoroughly with the literature on the selected topic, and should bring additional sources other than those read for class to bear on the topic of choice. CONSENT APPLICATION: To apply for this course, students must complete and e-mail the Consent Application Form available on the SLS Registrar's Office website (see Registration and Selection of Classes for Stanford Law Students) to the instructors. See Consent Application Form for submission deadline.

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