• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Policy and Governance
  • Areas of interest Policy Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person

Available for on-campus & remote (online) learning. Students participate in interactive, real-time classes. 2024 class dates: 1,2,5,9,15,16 & 23Feb

Social policy has long been shaped by the global flow of ideas, as ideologies and models have been exchanged voluntarily between countries; exported by colonial powers to their colonies; or imposed by external donors in the name of reconstruction or development. Yet, social policy is often understood as the policies, processes and services provided by governments within national borders, without sufficient consideration of the global context.


This course examines social policy in the global context of the twenty first century. We will analyse the impact of ideas, models and approaches developed and exchanged within the international arena on social policy within nations. We will also explore the ways in which approaches to social policy are transferred and shared between countries. We examine key international trends in social policy and the values on which they are based – as well as key critiques of and opposition to those trends. This course will include some comparative analysis of the influence and response to globalised ideas, models and approaches across different countries. It will also explore how and why global ideas are resisted by some actors.


Global Social Policy moves away from the traditional silos of ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries, whereby social policy is considered the domain of the former and development the domain of the latter. Rather, we will examine key approaches to social policy, evidence on ‘what works’, and major debates and controversies across the constructs of the ‘Global North’ and the ‘Global South.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Explain and analyse the ways in which the global flow of ideas has shaped and continues to shape social policy within and across nations.
  2. Understand the governance structures for, and effectiveness of, global social policy-making.
  3. Identify the (sometimes competing) agendas and roles of major global actors in the area of social policy.
  4. Analyse key ideas and objectives that underpin the social policy models advocated by key international agencies.
  5. Critically examine major debates and evidence on global social policy.

Other Information

A feature of this course is the Global Social Policy Conference, where student present their analyses of a policy, program, or strategy adopted by a global social policy actors. The Global Social Policy Conference is a powerful means of peer-learning, and is very rewarding. Participation in the Global Social Policy Conference is a requirement for successful completion of the course.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Three short quizzes (5% each) (15) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Presentation (15 mins) (15) [LO 1,3,4]
  3. Reflection paper (800 words)   (15) [LO 1,2,4,5]
  4. Analysis paper (2500 words) (55) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The standard workload for a 6 unit course is 130 hours including class time and independent study.

Prescribed Texts

Required readings will be available on the course Wattle site prior to the commencement of the course. There is no textbook for this course.

Preliminary Reading

Yeates, N. (ed.) (2008), Understanding Global Social Policy, Bristol: The Policy Press.

Yeates, N. (2001), Globalization and Social Policy, London: Sage.

Deacon, B. (2007) Global Social Policy and Governance, London: Sage.

Global Social Policy (2009), Special issue on the impact of crisis on children.

Judith Goldstein and Robert Keohane, (1993) Ideas and Foreign Policy, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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