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Program purpose

The course promotes comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives to deepen the understanding the development of and challenges to the rule of law and welfare states globally. The course provides course participants with conceptual knowledge and analytical skills to deepen their understanding of the legal, political and social conditions that shape (in)equal access to rights and welfare across empirical contexts. The course brings together course participants from different countries and across law and social science disciplines to enable cross-country interaction, exchanges and understanding.

Who is eligible?

Current students of MA programs in Law, Political Science, Social Work, Public Administration (or other similar field), demonstrated proficiency in written and oral English is necessary,  and graduate students from Ilia State and the University of Georgia from the Social Sciences and Law Programs, fluent in English.

Brief course description

Across the world, welfare states are emerging due to strong social rights movements and effective social policies, yet in most of these societies, inequal access to fundamental rights and welfare policies continues to be prevalent. Some vulnerable groups do not have access to social protection benefits; some cannot dispute administrative decisions in a court of law; and low-income groups often carry the largest burden of financing welfare in largely regressive tax systems.

In this course, participants will compare the development and characteristics of the rule of law and welfare states globally and analyse the conditions that shape (in)equal access to rights and welfare. This is done together with participants from different countries and various disciplinary backgrounds such as law, political science, public administration, sociology and social work.

The course comprises three modules: a main module, a thematic module and a project module which collectively provide course participants with knowledge, skills and competences to deepen their understanding of the rule of law and its intersection with welfare state development applying comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives.

Read more about the course here.

Time and location

The course is kicked off with a mandatory onsite induction workshop on 31 March (time: 19-22) and 1 April (time: 10-16) 2023. Location is tbd.

The remainder of course takes place online. The specific time for the online discussion seminars will be agreed in collaboration with the teacher during the induction workshop.


The course is free of charge.


The course lasts 14 weeks (including induction). See tentative course schedule below, and be aware that times and dates for the live seminars are tentative. OBS. The title of different weeks will be subject to minor changes.

 Induction Workshop
  In-person  in Georgia 
31 Marts 7PM-10PM and 1 Apr 10AM-6PM
Induction workshop onsite: 31 March (19-22) and 1 April (10-16).
Full participation in the Induction Workshop is mandatory and will be necessary for following the course. There will be approximately 2 hours of preparation that you are expected to do prior to the workshop.
 Main Module

Module pt. I: The Nordic Model of Welfare
 Week 1
Live seminar:
11/4 7 PM
alternatively 12/4  7PM
 Introducing and defining the Nordic Model of Welfare
 Week 2
Live seminar: 
18/4 7PM

Drivers of change in welfare states - the Nordic Model and beyond
 Week 3 Live seminar: 
21/4 7PM
 How well does the Nordic Model travel?
 Main Module

Module pt. II: The Rule of Law in the Nordic Model
 Week 4  Live seminar:
27/4 7 PM
alternatively 28/4  7PM
 The rise of the Rechtsstaat
 Week 5  Live seminar:
4/5 7 PM
alternatively 5/5  7PM
 Core principles of the Rule of Law
 Week 6  Live seminar:
8/5 7PM
 Access to Court and judicial remedies
 Main Module

Module pt. III: An interdisciplinary and comparative perspective on welfare states
 Week 7  Live seminar:
16/5 7 PM
alternatively 17/5  7PM
 Doing interdisciplinary and comparative research on rule of law and welfare
 Week 8  Live seminar:
23/5 7 PM
alternatively 22/5  7PM
 Comparing emerging welfare states
 Thematic Module
 Week 9  Live seminar:
Tax: 30/5 7PM
Anti-Discrimination: 1/6 7PM, alternatively 2/6
Social protection: 30/5 7PM, alternatively 31/5
Students participate in one of three thematic tracks: 1) Anti-discrimination at work, 2) Social protection, or 3) Equitable taxation.
 Week 10  Live seminar:
Tax: 6/6 7PM, alternatively 7/6
Anti-Discrimination: 6/6 7PM, alternatively 7/6
Social protection: 8/6 7PM, alternatively 9/6
 Project Module
Week 11-13:
   Independent, problem-based case study research under supervision (Deadline: 2 July)

Programme language



A certificate will be provided for students, who complete the full course.


Convenors of onsite and online seminars
  • Ane Karoline Bak, JUST SOCIETY, University of Southern Denmark
  • Vincenzo Pietrogiovanni, JUST SOCIETY, University of Southern Denmark
  • Rasmus Schjødt, JUST SOCIETY, University of Southern Denmark
  • Siff Lund Kjærgaard, JUST SOCIETY, University of Southern Denmark

Read more about  the JUST SOCIETY team here.

The course includes short video lectures by an international group of professors and scholars of comparative political science, welfare studies, social law and policy as well as constitutional law and theory.

How to apply

See more information on Ilia State Universities webpage here.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at


Listen to Associate Professor Archil Abashidze explain why you should take this course.

Quote from student

"Today, we were part of the Danish Welfare state and its social investment in education: we took part of what we are learning about” 

Quote from student participating in JUST SOCIETY workshop, July 2022

To go to Ilia State University's website

Click here

Last Updated 09.08.2023