Rising social inequality resulting from the economic crisis. Dilemmas arising from the influx of millions of asylum seekers in Europe. Governments stepping back and expecting more from individuals. Increased life expectancy that goes hand in hand with increased health inequality. These are all examples of challenges related to individualisation, multicultural societies, solidarity and social justice, and health inequalities. Topics like these challenge social policy in contemporary European countries every day.
For example: Large numbers of migrants continue to seek refuge in Europe. In fact, more than 1.3 million people submitted an asylum claim in 2015. What does this influx of migrants mean for European societies? Can this ethnic and cultural diversity lead to increased integration and social cohesion? Or does it lead nativist backlashes – such as nationalism, xenophobia and new racisms?
At the same time, inequality within and across European countries abounds. A recent report suggests the 8 richest individuals in the world have more wealth than the poorest 50% combined. Thomas Pikkety already warned governments in 2014 to step in and address growing economic inequality. So how do European societies deal with the economic inequality between rich and poor? How do social policies differ across countries in addressing these inequalities?
If you are interested in learning about possible answers to these and similar social policy questions in an interdisciplinary, international environment, then the minor Social Policies in Contemporary Europe: New inequalities and risks (SPiCE) is for you.
The Department of Interdisciplinary Social Science offers a minor in Social Policies in Contemporary Europe: New inequalities and risks (SPiCE) as of the academic year 2017-18. The SPiCE minor is particularly appealing for all Interdisciplinary Social Science students – both Dutch and international – with an interest in social policy, social inequality or social risks.