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Human rights, social justice and social work research

Call for Papers

Deadline: 1 June 2019

Guest Editors

Prof. Dr. Koen Hermans (Social Policy and Social Work, KU Leuven, Belgium)

Prof. Dr. Griet Roets (Department of Social Work and Social Pedagogy, UGent, Belgium)

European Journal of Social Work

Table of Contents for European Journal of Social Work. List of articles from both the latest and ahead of print issues.

Language: en-US

Publisher: Routledge

Visit Journal Articles

We invite you to contribute to a Special Issue of the European Journal of Social Work, on ‘Human rights, social justice and social work research’. This Special Issue will bring together a set of papers that were presented at the European Conference for Social Work Research in Leuven, Belgium, in April 2019. We invite all presenters to submit an abstract for consideration of inclusion this special issue.

Theme of the Special Issue

Social work as a profession has a strong value orientation grounded in human rights and social justice. Currently, social work operates in the context of changing welfare state paradigms and strong societal changes. Whereas welfare state paradigms stress individual responsibility, conditionality and marketization, societal developments such as increasing poverty, inequality, social exclusion, populism and superdiversity lead to new challenges in social work practice for the realisation of human rights and social justice.

In this Special Issue, we will focus on how social work research as a specific social work intervention can make use of human rights and social justice as a theoretical lens to study the way social work deals with these policy-related and societal challenges and changes. Since social work practice cannot be disconnected from the broader context in which it takes part, also social work research as a specific social work intervention will have to deal with these broader societal changes. However, to this day different understandings of the nature and purpose of social work as an academic discipline have evolved, reflecting diverse conceptions of the nature and purposes of social work itself. This question is linked to the debate concerning the identity of social work as an academic discipline. What makes social work research distinctive: its field of study (social work practice), its focus on specific social problems (such as migration, poverty), its use of specific methods (such as participatory action research) or its theoretical lens embedded in the normative value orientation of the profession? Diverse answers to  these questions reflect different conceptions of the nature and purposes of social work, including social work research.

The Special Issue will examine the possibilities and limitations of social work’s specific value base as guiding theoretical framework for social work research. More specifically, we welcome contributions focusing on:

  • The conceptualisation of human rights and social justice as a theoretical lens in social work research
  • The development of a research agenda based on human rights and social justice
  • The implications of this value orientation for social work research and for the social work researcher
  • The way researchers integrate the central values in their daily practice of social work research
  • The relationship between social work research guided by human rights and social justice and social work practice

Submission guidelines

The guest editors invite you to submit an abstract of your proposed paper (not exceeding 300 words). This should be sent to the Editors in Chief rudi.roose@ugent.be and Jochen.Devlieghere@UGent.be Submitted abstracts will be reviewed by the guest editors, who will select those on which full papers will be invited.

  • The deadline for submission of abstracts is 1st June 2019. (Authors submitting abstracts must have presented their paper at the European Conference for Social Work Research in Leuven, Belgium, in April 2019.)
  • Decisions on the commissioning of full papers will be made by 17th June 2019.
  • Authors invited to prepare their full paper must submit it by 1st October 2019.

All papers submitted will be subject to full peer review prior to decisions on publication. All papers finally accepted will be published in either the themed issue or a regular issue of the journal.