Jubilee Conference


Social Work & Society:
Pathways Towards a Global Public Sphere

1 & 2 June 2023

University of Wuppertal · Hybrid Conference

Freiraum, Bärenstr. 11-13, 42117 Wuppertal

Organisation: Social Work & Society · Online Journal · socwork.net

Funded by:

Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation)

Thank you all for the inspiring conference! Some impressions:


Pathways Towards a Global Public Sphere

Pathways Towards a Global Public Sphere

Pathways Towards a Global Public Sphere

Pathways Towards a Global Public Sphere

Pathways Towards a Global Public Sphere

A succession of global crises defines the first two decades of the 21st century. Crises already dominated main parts of the 20th century – and are part of the modern societies in general. But the global dimension of the current crises, first and foremost the pandemic and the climate crisis, is unprecedented. In contrast, social security and social care programs and strategies are still anchored in and oriented towards the nation state. Therefore, they react with a corresponding uncertainty or simplified security promises only on the national level. Exceptions on a supranational level, such as attempts to strengthen the social dimension in the European Union (EU) are only partially successful. With the need to manage the current global crises and prevent their further escalation, the question of an actual global welfare policy and a global public sphere is moving to the center of attention.

The conference aims to address these questions from an interdisciplinary perspective in a dialogue and exchange between renowned international scholars. This succeeds in the international network of Social Work & Society, which has been formed around the Open Access-Journal SW&S (socwork.net) since 2002. The conference thus aims to promote and stimulate the international exchange in the fields of research that deal with the questions of current welfare services and the future shape of social work / social pedagogy as well as social policy.

Conference Program

All times are local (CEST).

1 June 2023

  1. 6.00 pm Towards a Global Public Sphere? Framing 20 Years of Critical Thinking

    • Welcome and Introduction · Marie Frühauf & Fabian Kessl (Wuppertal, Germany)
    • Greetings by the University of Wuppertal
    • Keynote · Walter Lorenz (Prague, Czech Republic): Global Crises and the Erosion of “the Social”: Social Work and Social Policy for a Global Public Sphere and a Global Welfare Policy
  2. 8.30 pm Evening Dinner & Anniversary Celebration

2 June 2023

  1. 9.00 am Society and Politics of Welfare

    Panel (plenary)

    • Brigid Featherstone (Huddersfield, United Kingdom): Protecting Children and Supporting Families in Post-Pandemic Times
    • Biray Kolluoğlu (Istanbul, Turkey): Urban Spaces under the Pressure of Global Crises
    • Greg Marston (Queensland, Australia): The Politics of Welfare Policy in Times of Multiple Crises
  2. 10.30 am Break

  3. 10.45 am The Welfare Service Profession and its Organisations

    Panel (plenary)

    • Jotham Dhemba (Kwaluseni, Eswatini): Population Ageing in Eastern and Southern Africa: Implications for Social Work Education and Practice
    • S.M. Sajid (New Delhi, India): Challenges to Social Work Profession in the Indian sub-continent during and beyond the pandemic
    • Vesna Leskošek (Ljubljana, Slovenia): Lessons Learned from the Covid-19 Pandemic on the Structural Context in which Social Services are Embedded
  4. 12.30 pm Lunch

  5. 2.00 pm Users of Welfare Services

    Panel (plenary)

    • Roberta Rehner Iversen (Philadelphia, United States): Welfare reform, Recessions and Pandemic: The Situations of Low-Earning Workers and their Families
    • Andreas Schaarschuch (Wuppertal, Germany): Alienation from the Social in Times of Global Crises. Perspectives from User Research
    • Griet Roets (Ghent, Belgium): New Charity Economy, Neo-Philanthropy, and Social Work: the Changing Rationale of Welfare during Referrals of Denizens
  6. 3.30 pm Break

  7. 3.45 pm Social Work and Society: Pathways Towards a Global Public Sphere

    Closing Remarks and Farewell · Marie Frühauf & Fabian Kessl (Wuppertal, Germany)

  8. 4.00 pm End of Conference