Current Issue

Vol. 21 No. 2 (2023): Pathways Towards a Global Public Sphere

It is anything but easy to figure out the current global constellation by speaking of ‘multiple crises’ or ‘polycrisis’. Not only because of its complexity, but also because we experience the current situation as unprecedented, we tend to overlook that crises obviously are part of modern society in general. Nevertheless, the global dimension and the complex mélange of the crisis against climate change, the economic and financial crises, the Covid-19 pandemic, but also the questioning of democratic orders, that we are witnessing today, seem exceptional. We are therefore faced in the 21st century with the challenge of simultaneously perceiving the peculiarity of the current crises and the historical continuity that is inscribed in them.

As already discussed in the last special issue of Social Work & Society (02, 2023), the question of ‘the future’ comes into focus. But what does that mean? Where do we look towards the future? What is the goal we are working towards? In addition to the fact that the future must always remain indefinable and open, as long as we do not want to subject ourselves to totalitarian ways of thinking, we do need images how to direct our thinking and acting. On the background of democratic movements, revolutions and radical reforms since the 18th century, the concept of a ‘global public sphere’, as mentioned by Nancy Fraser and others, could probably provide such a horizon for the future.

To what extent a global public sphere could play a role in the context of social work, social pedagogy and social policy, had been the question of the Jubilee Conference of Social Work & Society at the 1st & 2nd of June 2023 (Link to the conference page). We are very pleased to present main conference contributions as fully developed articles in the current special issue. This certainly offers us a basis for the necessary discussions and reflections.

However, an issue of Social Work & Society only becomes complete through the open-topic articles in our SW&S.Forum. It is therefore a pleasure for us that we can once again publish a series of highly stimulating contributions in our SW&S.Forum.

Therefore, we are very sure that our readers will find inspiring insights and reflections in the new issue of SW&S.

Published: 2024-06-10
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