Contemporary Social Problems
Course code
old course code
Course title in Estonian
Kaasaegsed sotsiaalprobleemid
Course title in English
Contemporary Social Problems
ECTS credits
approximate amount of contact lessons
Teaching semester
autumn - spring
Assessment form
lecturer of 2019/2020  Autumn semester
õppejõud on määramata
lecturer of 2019/2020  Spring semester
lecturer not assigned
Course aims
- provide a systematic overview of contemporary social problems in global and local perspective;
- introduce main social risks and social policy target groups;
- develop understanding of policy process and it effect on social problems;
- provide skills to evaluate policy instruments from perspectives of social inclusion and civic involvement.
Brief description of the course
Contemporary concept of social risks: old and new social risks, life-course approach to social policies. Global social problems related to climate change, human development and migration. Economic inequality as global, regional and local policy problem. Changing family patterns as cause for social problems. Traditional and modern perception of health and policy responses. Adjusting societies to population ageing. Social problems in multicultural societies. Politics of social problems. Policy process and intervention options for advocacy groups. Public-private partnership in tackling social problems. Civil society as employee and advocate. Evaluation of efficiency and adequacy of social services.
Independent work
Readings, briefings for seminar discussions, team work, case studies
Learning outcomes in the course
- knowledge about causes, character and varieties of contemporary social problems, understanding of importance of contextualisation;
- skills to mine multiple and reliable information for adequate estimation of magnitude of a social problem;
- capability to evaluate policy instruments existing in given time and space for tackling a social problem ;
- awareness of the ethical and cultural issues that may emerge when applying policy measures to various target groups.
Assessment methods
Group work presentations, peer reviews, individual essau
Anu Toots
Study literature
• Baldock, Mitton, Mannning, Vickerstaff (2012). Social Policy. Oxford University Press
• Alcock, P. , Craig, G. (2009). International Social Policy. Welfare Regimes in the Developed World. Palgrave MacMillan
• Estonian Human Development Reports (various years)
• Bardach, E. (2011). A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold path to more efficient problem solving.

Replacement literature
• Bache, I. and Reardon, L. (2016) The Politics and Policy of Wellbeing: Understanding the Rise and Significance of a New Agenda, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
• Lindquist, E., Vincent, S. and Wanna, J. (eds.) (2013). Putting Citizens First: Service Delivery and Engagement for the 21st Century. Canberra: ANU Press.
• Osborne, S. P. and Brown, L. (eds.) (2013). Handbook of Innovation in Public Services. Edwar Elgar (selected chapters).
• Hemerijck, A. (2012). Changing Welfare States. Oxford University Press
• Taylor-Gooby (Ed.) (2004). New risks, new welfare. Oxford University Press.