Vol. 18 No. 1 (2020): Renegotiating Social Citizenship – Democracy in Welfare Service States

SW&S Special Issue on “Renegotiating Social Citizenship – Democracy in Welfare Service States” (Vol. 18, Issue 1, 2020)

How to deal with “the state”? This question has often been a tricky one for social work research and theory as well as for debates on social welfare policy: In concepts for a radical social work theory the state has sometimes been seen as a ‘monolith’, dominating the everyday life of the people; in more social democratic or liberal versions of social work theory and research the state has been conceptualised as a given structure, a precondition for social work and social services in general. From a social policy and social welfare perspective, “the state” has ever and anon been identified as the potent source of social regulation.

All these examples show that “the state” has been widely under-theorised and underexposed in the debates on social work, social services and social welfare. Recommendations from neo-marxist, feminist and (post-)structuralist positions to take the state not as a monolith, a given structure or a uniform body of regulation, but as a field of conflict, a material condensation of power and a relation of power are still not a matter of course.

Not at least all neo-liberal policies have shown in the last 30-40 years, how flexible the (welfare) state can be: On the basis of their own critique on the welfare state in the 20th century, but also on the basis of the common liberal critique of the (welfare) state, neo-liberal policies were able to place alternative concepts of de-regulation, privatisation and so called public-private partnerships or social investment- and activation-strategies.

On that background the question of a theoretical as well as political reflection of the current state is more than needed – not at least in the current situation, we are all in, in times of Corona.

Therefore, we are more than happy, to be able to present you the current SW&S.Special Issue on “Renegotiating Social Citizenship – Democracy in Welfare Service States“. Hans-Uwe Otto from the University of Bielefeld (GER) has edited this Special Issue in cooperation with Jean-Michel Bonvin from the Université de Genève (CH) and Arne Wohlfarth and Holger Ziegler, also from Bielefeld (GER). For detailed information on the different chapters and the 16 papers of the new SW&S.Special Issue please have a look in the introduction.

SW&S Forum

Four other very inspiring papers are presented by different international groups of authors and single authors in the new SW&S.Forum: Adam Andani Mohammed, Sayed Uddin (both MAS) & Bassoumah Bougangue (GHA) reflect in their paper the Indigenisation Process of Social Work Practice in Malaysia; Catrin Heite, Veronika Magyar-Haas, Lea Moser, Marion Pomey, Morad Salah, and Franziska Schlattmeier (all SUI) recommend Theoretical Considerations on Vulnerability and Autonomy, based on Children’s Narrations about Sport in Adult-dominated Contexts. In his paper Filip Wolters (SWE) is focussing on The Accumulation of Standards for Treatment Decisions in Social Work (1847-2018). A photovoice study on the perceptions among unemployed youth of information technology in Mamelodi, South Africa is discussed bay Magogodi Nkuna, Martina Jordaan (both RSA) and Peter Zängl (SUI).

Take a look and enjoy the new Issue of Social Work & Society (SW&S).

The SW&S Co-Ordinating Office

THE CONTENT OF THIS ISSUE IS COMING SOON.

Published: 2020-05-13