International Social Work Research in a Globalizing World

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International Social Work and Forced Migration: Developments in African, Arab and European Countries

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Social Work with refugees is a sub-field under the broader umbrella of International Social Work. Healy (2008: 41) noted that “The international movement of peoples is undoubtedly the most dramatic social indicator of globalization” and singled out refugees as a particularly vulnerable population of concern for social workers. Thus, exploration of International Social Work in the context of a globalizing world provides an important context for situating Social Work practice with refugees. In 2005, the first author of this chapter published an article entitled “The Future of Global Social Work” (Potocky/Tripodi 2005). In that article, the author made eight projections about the future. Four of these were evidence-based projections about what is likely to occur, based on what had occurred in Global Social Work during the prior decade. Some of these projections portended desirable outcomes, while others predicted undesirable outcomes vis-àvis the status of International and Global Social Work. The other four projections were values-based regarding what should occur in accordance with Social Work values of human rights and social justice, which dictate that social workers should take direct actions to address global social problems. As such, all of these values-based projections represented desirable outcomes.

The passage of more than a decade since that time affords us the opportunity to appraise the accuracy of these projections and commensurately assess the current state of International Social Work research in a world that at that time was already recognized as globalizing but is now even more so. Thus, in this chapter we examine each of the eight projections by comparing findings from the decades of 1995–2004 and 2007–2017. We then present recommendations for international social work going forward.


© 2021 by Verlag Barbara Budrich GmbH, Opladen, Berlin & Toronto


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