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Welfare states have undergone several major changes over recent decades, moving away from earlier ideas of welfare entitlements based on the concept of social citizenship towards increasingly ubiquitous forms of welfare conditionality such as Work-for-the-Dole and other mandatory behavioural requirements for receiving benefits. In this PhD elective we will examine the normative assumptions and policy rationalities that underpin this turn towards a more ‘active' policy. We will also consider how a series of welfare policy issues – including Work-for-the-Dole, cashless welfare, and the idea of a universal basic income – relate to leading theories of egalitarianism and social justice. What normative justifications can be given for enforcing welfare conditionality? What constraints do principles of social justice impose upon the implementation of such policies?
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should have:
- enhanced knowledge of key debates within distributive justice and their relevance for normatively assessing welfare and social policy reforms;
- an ability to analyse the norms, assumptions and values underpinning policy, specifically in the context of welfare reform;
- enhanced engagement with leading-edge research in activation and welfare-to-work policies;
- an ability to reflect upon their own research work in relation to the content of the module.
The subject will contribute, through teaching and discussion with academic staff and peers, to developing skills and capacities including those identified in the University-defined Graduate Attributes for the PhD, in particular:
- the capacity to contextualise research within an international corpus of specialist knowledge;
- an advanced ability to engage in critical reflection, synthesis and evaluation of research-based and scholarly literature;
- an advanced understanding of key disciplinary and multi-disciplinary norms and perspectives relevant to the field.
Last updated: 6 December 2019