HS/PO 395 - The German Welfare State
The course introduces students to the German welfare state, based on the specific German model of “Social Market Economy”. Students will learn how political institutions and decisions shape the socio-economic order and understand the historical developments that resulted in the specific German variation of the welfare state. After discussing the most important aspects of the German model, the first part of the course will be devoted to German political and social history, especially its turning points, like the world wars, the great inflation 1923, the foundation of the West German State and the specific interdependence of social market economy and democracy in the German and European historical context. The second part of the course will focus on specific aspects and current challenges of the German welfare state, such as the integration of women in the German labor market, migration and refugee crises, or the fundamental changes to the production of energy, associated with the challenges of climate change and the Russian invasion in Ukraine. Students will be encouraged to ask questions on the political importance of socio-economic developments and to compare them to recent trends in other parts of the world, including the United States.