Course Descriptions

Politics and Social Policy: Lessons from Europe

01:360:320/790:320 (3 credits) - Spring Semester
Professor R. Dan Kelemen, Political Science, European Studies

kelementeachingWelcome to citizenship in the 21st century! You’re inheriting an unaffordable health care system that leaves millions uninsured, a mounting climate crisis, failing schools, a fractured social safety net, an aging population, high unemployment, and growing deficits. What can we learn from studying the approaches to these problems taken by the economically advanced democracies of the European Union? On the left, many believe Europe offers successful models of how to balance capitalism and the pursuit of economic growth with a greater commitment to social justice and sustainable development. On the right, by contrast, many warn of the dangers of importing these ideas, arguing that European social democracies suffer under high taxes, excessive state control of the economy, and economic stagnation. What’s fact and what’s fiction? And, what are the lessons for the United States in the 21st century?