Labour Market Policies in Comparative Perspective
Autumn - irregular
Objectives and Content
The course aims to provide students with a comprehensive and critical understanding of contemporary labour market policy across advanced capitalist countries. The jobs people have are crucial for their income, social status, and well-being. This makes labour market policy a particularly important field of government intervention. The course will help students to acquire sound knowledge of general principles of labour market policy as well as an appreciation of variation across developed countries (mostly OECD member states). This is a problem-oriented course that seeks to bridge theoretical and practical knowledge. It will equip students with a critical understanding of the major labour market challenges governments face today, their determinants, and the main policies discussed to tackle them. These challenges include unemployment, precarious employment, and labour shortage. The emphasis will be on the politics of labour market policy. As the study of labour market policy is interdisciplinary, sociological and economic perspectives will also be discussed.
A student who has completed the course should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:
- demonstrate their understanding of central concepts as well as the main policy instruments in labour market policy;
- explain the basics of how labour markets function from an economic perspective and how work is analysed from a sociological perspective;
- present how labour market policy varies across developed countries;
- discuss how and to what extent various political actors shape labour market policy;
- critically discuss the extent, determinants, and possible policy solutions to major labour market challenges in developed countries today;
- apply the concepts and theories of labour market policy to specific empirical examples;
- critically assess media reports and policy proposals;
- synthesise theoretical and empirical material on a given topic;
- differentiate and criticise platitudes in public discourse.
Required Previous Knowledge
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Access to the Course
Open for all students at the University of Bergen.
Teaching and learning methods
Hours per week: 2
Number of weeks: 10-15
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Group work: one literature summary, maximum 1500 words.
The approval of compulsory assignments has no time limit.
Forms of Assessment
Take home exam (3 days, maximum 3000 words)
Assessment in teaching semester
All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education.