The Socio-Political Principle - History and Currentness of the Welfare State (ILV)

Course numberM3.0607.10.090
Course code
Semester of degree program Semester 1
Mode of delivery Presencecourse
ECTS credits3,0
Language of instruction German

Students comprehend that the welfare state, as it exists in Austria and comparably in European neighbouring states did not "fall into our laps". Students recognise the social and political impetus by the formation of the welfare state entity; they can assess current developmental trends of social policy and also face challenges and future debates - such as, for example the issue of refugees or the request for an unconditional basic income. They know that welfare transfers (in the form of payments) for protection against average life risks are essential for the people affected, but also that more than payment is needed for sustaining and recovering the ability to act and for an independent way of life of people in life crises. Thus, the function and professional patterns of the action of Social Work become evident as the life-world orientated tool of the welfare state and thus legitimate in the ensemble of overall state policy.

Completed bachelor's degree

The welfare state is regarded as a self-evident background security for the people of Europe. It receives high approval - despite socially perceived social inequality, politically debated difficulties and factually intended savings operations. The course provides an introduction to socio-political thinking.
The welfare state can be reconstructed, via the socio-political principle as a historical-systematical approach, in its respective epochal form. In this form, it is an indispensable companion of industrial modernity - in a compensatory, constitutive and preventive function. Guiding principles of the welfare state such as solidarity, subsidiarity, justice are discussed.
Social Work is a socio-political mandate for the treatment of social conflicts and, in particular, the improvement of living conditions for vulnerable groups. Therefore, the development trends and fields of action of the social services and their professionalism are the focus.

Böhnisch, Lothar & Schröer, Wolfgang (2012). Sozialpolitik und Soziale Arbeit. Eine Einführung. Weinheim: Beltz Juventa.
Csoba, Judith, Graßhoff, Gunther & Hamburger, Franz (Hrsg.) (2014). Soziale Arbeit in Europa. Diskurse der Sozialarbeit, Europäisierung, soziale Bewegungen und Sozialstaat. Schwalbach/Ts: Wochenschau.
Evers, Adalbert, Heinze, Rolf G. & Olk, Thomas (Hrsg.) (2011). Handbuch Soziale Dienste. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag.
Kaufmann, Franz-Xaver (2003). Sozialpolitisches Denken. Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp.
Melinz, Gerhard (2009). Vom "Almosen" zum "Richtsatz". Etappen österreichischer Armenfürsorge-/Sozialhilfe(politik): 1863 bis zur Gegenwart. In: Dimmel, Nikolaus, Heitzmann, Karin & Schenk, Martin (Hrsg.). Handbuch Armut in Österreich. Innsbruck et al.: Studienm, 646-663.
Pankoke, Eckart (1990). Die Arbeitsfrage. Arbeitsmoral, Beschäftigungskrisen und Wohlfahrtspolitik im Industriezeitalter. Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp.
Vobruba, Georg (2000). Alternativen zur Vollbeschäftigung. Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp.
Zirra, Sascha (2010). Die Europäisierung nationaler Beschäftigungspolitik. Europäische Koordinierung und institutionelle Reformen. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag.

Lecture, presentation of guidance texts, presentations in group work, short reports

Quality of the small group input (50%), written report (25%), oral cooperation (25%)