Critical and Radical Social Work: An international journal

Policy Press describe the publication as:

‘An exciting new journal that will promote debate and scholarship around a range of engaged social work themes. The journal publishes papers which seek to analyse and respond to issues, such as the impact of global neo-liberalism on social welfare; austerity and social work; social work and social movements; social work, inequality and oppression, and understanding and responding to global social problems (such as war, disasters and climate change). It welcomes contributions that consider and question themes relating to the definition of social work and social work professionalism, that look at ways in which organic and ‘indigenous’ practice can expand concepts of the social work project and that consider alternative and radical histories of social work activity. As a truly international journal it actively encourages contributions from academics, scholars and practitioners from across the global village.’

Critical and Radical Social Work Journal is available free online during 2013SWAN believes that Critical and Radical Social Work: An international journal will support those across social work and welfare by providing a radical perspective and ideas for practice. Policy Press issued a call for contributions to the journal in May 2012 which remains open.

Critical and Radical Social Work will be available online for free during 2013, its first year of publication. To sign up for this free online trial, please email with your full name and contact address. You will receive an acknowledgement and an alert when the trial begins in April 2013 when the first issue is published.

SWAN hopes that a formal launch for this title will take place at the 8th National SWAN Conference at London South Bank University on 12-13 April 2013. In common with the theme of this year’s conference, which addresses alternative futures for social welfare and social care, the first issue will consider what the ‘future of social work’ may be in the years ahead.

Similarly, next April a new series of six short edited texts from Palgrave Macmillan entitled Critical Issues in Contemporary Social Work, is released. These address the following areas: personalisation, the crisis in mental health, poverty and inequality, ethics and politics in social work, children and families social work, and the crisis in social care. We hope these books will also be available to buy at the conference.

Social Work in Palestine – 2 November 2012, Durham

The event will also feature renowned social work academic, Lena Dominelli of Durham University and Sarah Sturge from the Palestine-UK Social Work Network.

The event is free and open to all social workers, students, educators, policy makers and others to look at how links are being forged between Palestine and UK social workers and how they can be strengthened.

Please download the flyer for the conference below.Social Work in Extremis: Lessons for social work internationally

Related to this topic, Michael Lavalette and Vasilios Ioakimidis co-wrote the book, Social work in extremis: Lessons for social work internationally’, published by Policy Press in 2011, which looks at how social work has responded to the social, economic and political circumstances of a number of countries. The book fosters the spirit of international social work solidarity. 

The volume contains the chapter ‘Popular social work’ in the Palestinian West Bank: dispatches from the front line, which looks at the success of grassroots welfare projects in the West Bank despite poverty, oppression and occupation.

Defend social work students at London Met Uni

A London Met international social work student may face deportationOne student, on the BSc course, has been moved to a different course related to safeguarding; not the social work qualification they paid for. The other student is on the MSc programme – this person has almost finished their course with the exception of their final placement. The lecturers feel that this person is unlikely to be able to find an alternative course within the time available. This latter student, like many of the hundreds of current other non-EU students, could be deported to his/her country of origin, without gaining any qualification from the course that he/she paid for and which the state funded.

For SWAN, opposing this decision is a matter of social justice.

It is unjust for those studying; this will have a serious effect on the education and longer term prospects of these students and possibly the families and friends who have supported them to gain the qualification. Such students have paid for a qualification they may not receive.

It skews the purpose of the university and the relationships within it as it places a responsibility on the institution to police their students on behalf of UKBA (who appear to be responding to a populist anti-immigration mood). The students are innocent of any alleged immigration breaches.  UKBA’s move echoes the government’s PREVENT agenda which placed a comparable responsibility on universities to identify and report extremism among students. Should this be the role of a university? What does it do to the relationship between lecturers and students?

It damages international, cross-cultural learning and exchange. Social work is an international profession; welcoming the experience of students from across the globe is a necessary part of the efforts to understand and address global social problems such as poverty and inequality.

Please sign the petitions calling for an amnesty for the London Met students here:


Please also attend the demonstration on Wednesday 5th September 2012 from 13:00 at the Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF.

SWAN London

NB: Subsequent to the publication of this article, Community Care wrote this piece making reference to SWAN: