• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Policy and Governance
  • Areas of interest Policy Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Sharon Bessell
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Summer Session 2024
    See Future Offerings

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 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, 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 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.


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. Understand 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. Understand the (sometimes competing) agendas and roles of major global actors in the area of social policy
  4. Be able to analyse key ideas and objectives that underpin the social policy models advocated by key international agencies

Indicative Assessment

  1. A brief position paper — drawing on the reading brick — to either support or argue against a particular position. Students will be able to choose from the following topics: (i) a rights-based approach to social policy; (ii) a human development approach; (ii) a social protection approach to social policy; (iii) user-pays systems; (iv) universal provision. Students will be asked to take a lead in the discussion in the session when their topic is discussed. 1000 words (15) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  2. An analysis of a key social policy of a selected international agency. 2000 words (35) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  3. An essay examining the ways in which supra-national or trans-national ideas and policies have shaped national responses to one social issue in one country. Students will be asked to choose a country other than their own. 2,500 words (50) [LO 1,2,3,4]

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.


Total of 30 contact hours of seminars, with an additional total of 60 hours reading expected in preparation for seminars.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

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
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $4440
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6360
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Summer Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
On Campus
1503 01 Feb 2024 01 Feb 2024 16 Feb 2024 22 Mar 2024 In Person View
1504 01 Feb 2024 01 Feb 2024 16 Feb 2024 22 Mar 2024 Online View

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