The course analyses the purpose, design and impact of social security policies, meaning policies that protect and support household income at times when income from the labour market does not suffice. The course examines policies that support our incomes or help us insure ourselves against risks, such as child, unemployment and disability benefits, a Universal Basic Income or pensions for old-age. All of these aim, among else, to alleviate or prevent poverty and redistribute incomes across individuals and the life course. The course also looks at how well prepared different systems are in meeting different challenges, such as ageing populations, migration or crises such as the global Covid-19 pandemic. The course takes a comparative approach, examining differences in the design of social security policies across welfare regimes and drawing on examples from different countries.