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Economic and Social Change in Post War Europe

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Year 2

This course enables students to understand the shift from rural agrarian to urban industrial and service economies in post-war Europe and the associated social changes in terms of industrial and occupational structures, class composition, earnings and incomes, migration, ethnicity, consumption and the like. It examines the nature and impact of different ‘welfare state regimes’ in Europe and looks briefly at the problems created by the transition from state socialism to market economies in Eastern Europe. The course introduces students to some of the main dimensions of contemporary Economic and Social Change in Post War Europe and the similarities and differences between European countries in terms of these dimensions.

The topics covered include the economic transformation of Europe in the C20th from agriculture to manufacturing industry and services, the changing nature of the labour markets, the role of the welfare state, income, wealth and poverty, migration and ethnic change, demographic change, social exclusion and the transition from state socialism to post socialism.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the completion of the module students should be able to understand some of key processes and dimensions of economic and social change in post war Europe. Appreciate both the key similarities and differences between different European countries post war. Understand some of the major policy debates regarding unemployment, economic growth, migration and other issues such as demographic change.