Skip to main content

School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


What We're Reading

Students will enounter a wide range of reading material during their studies, and the University's libraries cater for a range of disciplinary interests.  While each individual course will issue students with a specific reading list, we introduce some more general readings here which may be of interest to applicants.

Introductory texts:
  • Kennett, P. (ed.) (2004): A Handbook of Comparative Social Policy, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. See particularly chapter by Jochen Clasen: “Defining comparative social policy”, pp. 91-102.
Examples of political economy:
  • Esping-Andersen, G. (1999): Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  • Hall, P. A. & Soskice, D. (eds.) (2001): Varieties of Capitalism: the Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
An excellent large-scale public policy study:
  • Castles, F. G. (1998): Comparative Public Policy, Edward Elgar. 
A good example of a comparative case study: 
  • Clasen, J. (2005): Reforming European Welfare States: Germany and the United Kingdom Compared, Oxford: Oxford University Press.  
And a single case study from Denmark:  
  • Flyvbjerg, B. (1998) Rationality and Power: Democracy in Practice,  Chicago: University of Chicago Press.  
Good overviews of gender-sensitive comparative policy analysis:
  • Sainsbury, D. (ed.) (1999): Gender and Welfare State Regimes, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Gornick, J. C. and Meyers, M. (eds.) (2003): Families that Work: Policies for Reconciling Parenthood and employment, New York: Russell Sage foundation. 
An example of the study of policy-transfer:
  • Dolowitz, D.P. with others (2000). Policy Transfer and British Social Policy: Learning from the USA? Buckingham: Open University Press.  
On methodological and theoretical aspects of comparative public policy: 
  • Kennett, Patricia (2001): Comparative Social Policy. Theory and Research, Buchingham: Open University Press. 
  • Landman, Todd (2000): Issues and Methods in Comparative Politics: an Introduction, London/New York: Routledge. 
  • Ragin, Charles C. (1987/1989): The Comparative Method. Moving beyond Qualitative and Quantitative Strategies, Berkeley: University of California Press.  

For any one new to the field of policy studies in general, we suggest the following book as an introduction:  

  • Hudson, J. and Lowe, S. (eds.) (2004): Understanding the Policy Process, Policy Press. 


Image: Bookshelf. ©Andy Aitchison 2007.