22901987 - SOCIAL POLICY (L40)

The aim of the course is to provide the informative and conceptual bases that allow to frame the social policies in their modern historical evolution and to decode the meaning and the orientations of the interventions that can be carried out in the field of social protection.

At the end of the course the student:
- knows the aims of modern social policies and their historical evolution and is able to place today's guidelines for social protection within the framework of welfare regime types;
- is able to appropriately place the sectoral interventions of social protection in the scenario of contemporary social policies;
- has a conceptual and terminological heritage suitable for discussing the main themes of the social policy in an appropriate manner.
teacher profile | teaching materials


The course introduces a historical-theoretical analysis of the concepts of social policy and the welfare system, of which the main models are described. The ways in which social change and the transformation of needs affect the structure of social policies are then discussed and the picture of the actors of the social protection system is presented. The transition from the welfare state to the welfare mix and the concept of local welfare is then introduced and explained. The policies of the social protection sector are also described (social security, health, assistance and social services) of which a general classification and profile is presented in the Italian context. Finally, the possible future scenarios of social policies in Italy are discussed.

Core Documentation

- Ferrera M., Le politiche sociali, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2019

Reference Bibliography


Type of delivery of the course

The course takes place in the first semester. Classes begin on October 4 and - to encourage students' attendance - are concentrated in one day a week and in the afternoon: Tuesday at 2.00 pm - 5.00 pm classroom 3. Any remedial lessons or other supplementary activities can be carried out in a distance and will be carried out at different times from that of the classroom teaching activities. The teaching activities will be carried out in the classroom without any remote connection for streaming viewing. Ad hoc documentation will be prepared for students for whom it is possible to have materials to be viewed remotely. Attending students who will be interested will be offered group work under the guidance of the teacher. Adhering to the proposal and carrying out the required activities will reduce the consistency of the exam program and the number of questions to be answered in the written test.


Class attendance is optional even if strongly recommended.

Type of evaluation

The exam consists of a written part and, after passing this, an oral part. The written test consists of 3 open-ended questions and a total of 30 minutes is available for its development. The 3 questions are formulated by referring to as many thematic areas present in the program of the course: 1. the general framework of social policies, 2. the characteristics of the Italian system of social protection, 3. social policies of a sectoral nature. The answers must be congruent with the questions posed in the questions. The proposed themes are deliberately wide-ranging and allow for articulated responses. Providing extremely essential answers will therefore lead to a penalty in the evaluation. The evaluation of the test will be carried out taking into account the merit of the contents inserted but also the form of the answer, so we invite you to pay attention to the composition of the text, which must be clear and correct from a logical and syntactic-grammatical point of view. The oral exam will take place in the days following the oral exam and will refer to the entire teaching program.