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Card-index course

Comparative Political Science

Science politique comparée

Responsible Faculty: Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (SSP)

Teacher(s): Daniel Oesch
Lecturer(s): -

Validity: 2009 -> 2009

No timetable defined.


Spring semester
4 hours per week
56 hours per semester

Teaching language(s): French
Public: Yes
Credits: 0


This course deals with a subfield of political science, namely comparative political economy. More particularly, it analyzes and compares employment policies across Europe. The central question addressed in the course is thus to know why some European countries succeeded better than others - in the past as in the present - to limit the rise of unemployment. By applying methods and concepts of comparative political analysis, our goal is to understand the success or failure of labour market policies in different European countries.
This course is divided in three blocks. A first block examines how the rise of mass unemployment challenged European governments starting in the 1970s and 1980s. It then compares how different institutional regimes such as neocorporatism or pluralism affected the labour market. A second block analyses the institutions governing the labour market (the welfare state and industrial relations system) and discusses how technological change and globalisation modified the context of employment policy. A third and last bloc gives an overview of the fight against unemployment in five countries: Britain, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. By comparing these countries, we try to gain insight into the elements favouring or hindering a country's trajectory towards full employment.
This course is organized as a course-seminar. The morning session consists in a theoretical lecture given ex cathedra, whereas in the afternoon session texts are presented and discussed by the students, followed by a final theoretical input given by the lecturers.


The course evaluation is based on three elements: (a) a research note comparing the employment policy in two European countries; (b) an oral presentation; (c) a short written test covering the course material.

Canton de Vaud
Swiss University
Unicentre  -  CH-1015 Lausanne  -  Suisse  -  Tél. +41 21 692 11 11  -  Fax  +41 21 692 26 15