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EJSW social work and political conflict resubmission, 25th January paper final copy.pdf (463.14 kB)

Social work for critical peace: A comparative approach to understanding social work and political conflict

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-09, 11:50 authored by Jim Campbell, Vassilios Ioakimidis, Reima Ana MaglajlicReima Ana Maglajlic
In the last few decades there has been a growing interest in exploring the way in which political conflicts impact upon social work policy and practice. An early edited text by Ramon (2008) used a wide ranging approach to capture the nature of social work engagement with conflicts and disasters across a number of continents. More recently, two leading social work journals have focused on these and other related topics (Spalek & McDonald, 2012; Ramon & Zavirsek, 2012). To date, however, there have been few attempts to compare and contrast social work experience in these circumstances. This paper is the product of a discussion that took place between the authors, built upon our lived and academic experiences of social work and political conflict, during an European Association of Schools of Social Work funded project. To address the lack of comparative analysis in relation to social work and political conflict, it begins with a summary of the literature on this topic and then then identifies a number of methodological challenges in carrying out comparative analysis. At the core of the paper is the analysis of three case studies: Northern Ireland, Bosnia Herzogvina (BiH) and Cyprus. It is organised around the themes which emerged from joint analysis of these case studies in relation to social work policy and practice, namely: the impact of colonialism; political systems and identities; and neoliberalism and new social movements. The paper concludes with an appeal for a nuanced approach to social work and political conflict, described as 'social work for critical peace'.


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  • Published

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  • Accepted version


European Journal of Social Work




Taylor & Francis

Department affiliated with

  • Social Work and Social Care Publications

Research groups affiliated with

  • Centre for Social Work Innovation and Research Publications

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