International Perspectives on Family Policy

10 Units

At the heart of social policy is critical thinking. By analysing social policy, we begin to see the intersections of different family policies and their outcomes. This course will enable students to understand the dimensions of the policy arena that impact on families in different cultural contexts. Students will learn about the nature and impact of political philosophies and systems of policy content and processes. Students will develop the capacity to critically analyze policy and to engage in policy development.

Faculty Faculty of Health and Medicine
School School of Health Sciences
Availability Trimester 3 - 2018 (Online)
Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and critique dimensions of family policy.
  2. Discuss the range of political systems and processes, and their impact on policies relating to families.
  3. Compare and analyze policy regimes/issues in different national contexts.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge and the skills to engage in policy development processes.
  1. Meaning and dimensions of family policy: what is family policy; understanding of family policy development processes; theoretical frameworks and models of family policy - a comparative analysis; Changing demographics and impact on family polices - cross national comparisons.
  2. Values and goals of family policy in different contexts: Political and economic ideologies; new market economies; culture, gender, social class, race, ethnic origin etc.
  3. Comparative analysis of the relationship between the family policy frameworks and the political and related welfare systems; multiple outcomes of family policy and their differential impacts on economies, welfare systems, and other social processes (here the student will be given to understand cross nationally the outcomes of family policy and how they are shaped by the external environment - socio-political, economic etc.). Implications of market and other global forces/factors and the role of civil society and impacts.
  4. Comparative analysis of policies relating to family and their impact on individuals and families. Comparison and critique of family polices across and within geopolitical/cultural regions-Europe/(western welfare democracies ), south-east Asia, northern America, Africa, Muslim states , oceanic region etc. Changing demographics and impact on family polices - cross national comparisons; Comparative perspective of implications of family policies in different countries with reference to various dimensions of family and personal laws relating to marriage, divorce, adoption, migration and resettlement etc.
  5. Comparative analysis of developments and innovations in family policy. Developments in family policies vs. liberal, democratic, socialist regimes - variations. Examples of innovations of family policy or policy. (to be ascertained from the group)
  6. International comparison of government policy and responsibilities to family Impact of International policies on family policy - UN Conventions on human rights and related issues; European Union ; international financial institutions; Impact of market and civil society - roles of International covenants impacting family ; critique of models of family policies and variations in terms of interventions - families, and individuals (disabled, child protection policies etc).
  7. Impact of International policies on family policy - UN Conventions on human rights and related issues; European Union ; international financial institutions; Repercussions of international law. Consequences of International policies on family policies and legal frameworks - UN Conventions on human rights and related issues; European Union ; international financial institutions; (Ex. European guidelines for family law in terms of family policy)
  8. Policy development processes; Responding to Welfare challenges around the world; family policies as public responses - civil society response; The policy process and stakeholders - state, civil society, and other actors (professionals, market); impact of international laws and other instruments, and range of processes - ideologies, cultures, welfare regimes etc on policy making processes; Steps in policy making and role of research; Policy analysis; policy advocacy - A comparative perspective of these processes.
  9. Best Practices
  • This course is only available to students enrolled in the Master of Family Studies (12277) program.
Assumed Knowledge Undergraduate degree in relevant discipline or equivalent professional experience in the field.
Assessment Items
  • Online Learning Activity: Online Learning Activity
  • Case Study / Problem Based Learning: Case Study / Problem Based Learning
  • Written Assignment: Written Assignment

Contact Hours


Self-Directed Learning

Online 10 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Timetable 2018 Course Timetables for HLSC6510
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