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Listen to Associate Professor Pablo Holmes explain why you should take this course.

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?

Proficiency in written and oral English is necessary.

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 30-31 March 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 course tentative course schedule below. OBS. The title of different weeks will be subject to minor changes.

 Induction Workshop

In-person  in Brazil
30-31 Marts
 Induction workshop onsite (2 days).
OBS. Full participation in the Induction Workshop is mandatory and will be necessary for following the course.  
 Main Module

Module pt. I:  The Nordic Model of Welfare
 Week 1
 Live seminar:
11/4 9AM
alternatively 12/4  9AM
 Introducing and defining the Nordic Model of Welfare
 Week 2
 Live seminar:
18/4 9AM
alternatively 17/4  9AM
Drivers of change in welfare states - the Nordic Model and beyond
 Week 3
 Live seminar:
20/4 9AM
alternatively 24/4  9AM
 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 9AM
alternatively 28/4  9AM
The rise of the Rechtsstaat
 Week 5 Live seminar:
4/5 9AM
alternatively 5/5 9AM
 Core principles of the Rule of Law
 Week 6  Live seminar:
8/5 9AM
 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 9AM
alternatively 17/5 9AM
 Doing interdisciplinary and comparative research on Rule of Law and welfare states
 Week 8  Live seminar:
23/5 9AM
alternatively 22/5 9AM
 Comparing emerging welfare states
 Thematic Module
 Week 9 Live seminar:
Tax: 30/5 9AM
Anti-Discrimination: 1/6 9AM, alternatively 2/6
Social protection: 30/6 9AM, 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 9AM
Anti-Discrimination: 6/6 9AM, alternatively 7/6
Social protection: 6/6 9AM, alternatively 7/5
 Project Module
Week 11-13:
   Independent, problem-based case study research under supervision (Deadline: 2 July)

Programme language



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

All students are required to apply to the course via the our registration system.  All applicants will be review to ensure qualification. 

You sign up here.


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

Quote from student

"We don’t have to only look for solutions for Brazilian problems in Brazil. There is something to learn from looking elsewhere."

Quote from student participating in JUST SOCIETY workshop, July 2022

"The platform is working well, and I am loving the course."

Student, spring cohort 2023

Last Updated 07.06.2023