59288 - History of the Welfare State

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Gender equality Decent work and economic growth Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will have the required knowledge of historical research methodology in order to relate the history of the Italian welfare state with general features of Italy's institutional, political and educational systems. At the exam, the student will be able to put forward his/her assessments and conclusions regarding historical studies and analyses. In addition, the student will be able to use the means and methods acquired in the historical field to widen his/her knowledge and apply effective critical thinking.

Course contents

The welfare state is an instrument of protection of citizenship rights in response to individual and collective risks and needs and has been the focus of public debate for years; during the Covid-19 pandemic this discussion has become even more compelling. The crisis and the transformation of the  Welfare State that are before our eyes help us to understand how the Welfare State has marked a long and perhaps unrepeatable season of the age that we call contemporary. Very often, however, the whole history of the welfare state is ignored or overlooked. During the course we will retrace the stages of its construction with an approach that allows to analyze the political and institutional processes, social, economic and cultural that have characterized the historical path of the social state in a comparative perspective and long-term with a particular attention to Italian history and the history of the '900.


Students will cure their preparation for the exame on the following texts:

C. Giorgi, I. Pavan, Storia dello Stato sociale in Italia, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2021.

F. Conti, G. Silei, Breve storia dello Stato sociale, Roma, Carocci, 2013.

Teaching methods

Lectures with discussion and source presentations. During the course seminars may be promoted on topics and texts related to the course contents.

Assessment methods

What will be particularly assessed is the student's ability to orient him/herself within texts in order to identify the information that will enable him/her to illustrate aspects strictly related to the discipline. The achievement by the student of an organic vision of the topics discussed during the course, together with their critical use, and the possession of a mastery of expression and specific language, will be assessed and awarded a grade of ‘excellence'. A mechanical and/or mnemonic knowledge of the topics, a limited skill of synthesis and analysis and/or the correct but not always appropriate use of language will lead to ‘a discrete' assessment. Gaps in learning and/or inappropriate language – although within the context of minimal knowledge in the exam subject – will lead to a grade no higher than ‘sufficient'. In cases of the presence of significant gaps in knowledge, inappropriate language, lack of orientation within the texts, the exam will not be passed. A negative assessment for one of the two texts included inthe program will not allow the student to pass the exam successfully. The evaluation is expressed in thirtieths.

Teaching tools

Videoprojector, Interactive whiteboards, PC The lectures will take advantage of a PowerPoint presentation that is uploaded and made available to students in the " Teaching materials " of the course

Office hours

See the website of Cinzia Venturoli