PhD Course: ‘Social Protection for Development in the Emerging Welfare States of Latin America and the Caribbean', 25-27 October 2017, Norway

Publish Date: Jun 12, 2017

Deadline: Jun 26, 2017

PhD Course: ‘Social Protection for Development in the Emerging Welfare States of Latin America and the Caribbean'

The purpose of this multidisciplinary doctoral course is to critically assess the origins, challenges and debates around social protection systems and welfare regimes in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Norwegian Latin America Research Network ( NorLARNet) and the Department of Global Development and Planning (University of Agder) are pleased to invite applications for the doctoral course ‘Social Protection for Development in the Emerging Welfare States of Latin America’.

The course will be held in Kristiansand, Norway, at the University of Agder from 25-27 October 2017.

The application deadline is Monday 26 June 2017.


Scholars have considered Latin American welfare systems as emerging welfare states (Huber & Stephens, 2012), welfare states in development (Cruz-Martinez, 2016a, 2016b), institutional-redistributive welfare states (Sanchez de Dios, 2015), developmental welfare states in the making (Riesco, 2009), and Welfare states in transition (Esping-Andersen, 1996). Meaning that their welfare programs and institutions are still in the process of institutionalisation and also have a lower degree of development than their European counterparts. Social protection is one of the tools used by the State to satisfy social risks, alleviate individual deprivations and produce welfare. Social protection is considered a social development practice as it raises household income while develop beneficiaries’ human capital by encouraging school attendance and raising health outcomes (Midgley, 2014). Therefore, social protection involves the transference of cash benefits to individuals and the provision of benefits in kind (e.g., public education, health care, housing).

This 3-day PhD course brings together a group of renowned experts and young scholars in the broad field of social policy. The main purpose is to discuss: (1) the historical background and origins of the welfare states in Latin America, (2) the challenges of the social protection systems, (3) the potential learnings from Nordic welfare states and (4) the debates around the options in the social policy menu (e.g., cash transfer programs versus benefits in kind, contributory versus non-contributory programs, targeting versus universalism). Economists, political scientists, sociologists, anthropologists and other social scientists will examine from a multidisciplinary perspective the mechanisms in which social protection promotes development in the emerging welfare states of Latin America.

The course will discuss the following aspects of social protection and welfare in the Latin American region:

  • Role of the social welfare programs to reduce poverty and inequality
  • Historical development of the Latin American social welfare systems since the 1920s
  • How to build universal social policy in the region?
  • Cash transfer design looking at gender equality initiatives and social accountability
  • Social pensions as a tool to guarantee the wellbeing of the older-age in an ageing population
  • Welfare regimes and the welfare-mix between the state, market and the family
  • What can be learned from the welfare systems in the Nordic region?


  • Prof. Armando Barrientos, Professor of Poverty and Social Justice at the Global Development Institute of the University of Manchester.
  • Prof. Maxine Molyneux, Professor of Sociology at the Institute of the Americas of the University College London and Editor of the Palgrave/Macmillan Studies of the Americas Series.
  • Dr. Diego Sánchez Ancochea, Director of the Latin American Centre and Associate Professor in the Political Economy of Latin America at the University of Oxford.
  • Prof. Morten Blekesaune, Department of Sociology and Social Work, University of Agder.
  • Dr. Stephen Kidd, Director / Senior Social Policy Specialist at Development Pathways
  • Dr. Gibrán Cruz-Martínez, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Global Development and Planning of the University of Agder, Kristiansand.

PhD course format

There will be a maximum participation of 20 students, and the language of instruction will be English. The course will be organised into two parts. Guest lecturers will be chairing seminars in 2-hour slots. Lecturers will assign reading materials for discussion in the seminars. PhD students’ presentations will be intercalated with the seminars and will be organised according to Walter Korpi’s Rules to encourage lively discussions and scholarly critical exchanges.


  • PhD students’ papers are circulated – and read – in advance of the course
  • papers are presented by a discussant (PhD student), rather than the author
  • afterwards, the author briefly reacts to the discussant's presentation, leaving a large part of the time to a general critical discussion among all participants (lecturers + PhD students)

Course participants will receive a Course Certificate, which recommends either 10 or 3 ECTS credits (please consult the section on ‘Credits’ in the course description). 

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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