Summer Session

May 18–June 26, 2022

Justice: Confronting Wicked Social Problems

“Wicked Problems” is a term that refers to complex and interrelated social issues that have resisted political solutions over time. This course focuses on three such “wicked problems” facing societies across the globe, examining both their consequences and the policies attempting to address them, with a special emphasis on the approaches used in Sweden.

About the Course

The framework of the course will focus on how economic inequality underlies many wicked problems across the world. More specifically, we will study how inequality within a specific country and across countries affects the following:

  • Public health outcomes, e.g., life expectancy, disease burden, and health inequalities
  • Environmental justice, e.g., unequal burdens faced by marginalized communities because of environmental degradation
  • Immigration/economic and social integration, racism, democracy, and the far right

The course will feature weekly study visits to relevant government agencies, organizations, and research institutes engaged in efforts to solve the aforementioned problems, as well as in-class discussions of the theories and practices relating to each week’s topic. The aim of the course is to not only understand existing social science research on the core topics, but also the political efforts in Sweden to solve these wicked social problems. The final week of the course will involve student-led panel discussions on future public policies that are deemed necessary to address these wicked problems.

This course is typically given credit by Sociology and Political Science Departments.


Cost: $5,000

This includes tuition, housing in our studio apartments, books, a public transportation pass, and all study visits and/or excursions. Students are responsible for board.



Deadline: March 1, 2022

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