International and Comparative Social Work

Course Contents


The course focuses on International European and Comparative Perspectives in Social Work. It is based on a shared social work body of knowledge and starts with a critical and reflexive perspectives on the relation between theory and practice, as it appears in the international literature. Based on critical social work, anti-oppressive and feminist theories, the lectures provide the framework for analysis and comparisons on applied policies and social work interventions with vulnerable people, i.e. elderly and the family, child care and protection, migration and minorities, poverty, homelessness and social exclusion, etc.

Students individually or in small groups will prepare presentations and essays.




Main objective of the course is to introduce the students to the issues of comparative social work:


  1. International Federation of  Social Work and other International Associations  as well as the “new definitions” of the global profession
  2. Diverse specializations of social professionals in Europe (eg. Social workers, community workers, social care workers, social pedagogues, socio-cultural animators, youth workers, social and creative therapists , counselors)
  3. International Social Work Theories and Practices (e.g. critical social work theories and critical reflexivity, anti-oppressive, emancipatory and feminist theories)
  4. Theoretical links between the “so –called” ‘ pure’ social sciences and the applied ones. Sociology and Social Work, Sociology of Social Work.
  5. Privatization and Civil society (From welfare to workfare: The overburdened welfare States, Privatization, NGO’s  and challenges for Social Work : national, regional and European Perspectives)
  6. Influence of globalization and multiculturalism on Social work and the diversity and homogeneity of social work as a global profession
  7.  How different Social Policies in the EU lead to different social work practices
  8. Different social work education systems in the EU and elsewhere in the World


They should be able to do comparative studies on social work in various fields as :


  • child care and child protection
  • care for the elderly
  • Preventing and tackling family violence
  • Counselling special groups of people; Drawing Experiences from the International literature
  • Migration and Diversity in Europe: Challenges for Social Work
  • Vulnerable people, Poverty, Homelessness and Social Exclusion in Europe : The Social Work Perspective

By the end of the course, students should be able to write a critically reflective

theories policies and practices along with  challenges for social work  on various topics in regards to vulnerable people.

Teaching Methods

Lectures, seminar-presentation, group work


Assessment by student’s presentation and written paper, final written examination


Allufi, -Pentini, A & Lorenz, W, 1996, Anti-racist Social Work  with young people ,  Russel House Publishing


Berg, W., 2005, MATTERS DIFFER: Comparative Studies in Social Work and Social Policy, Shaker Verlag GmbH, Germany


Blank, R., Burau, V., 2004, COMPARATIVE HEALTHPOLICY, Palgrave-Macmillan, London


Chamberlayne, P., Cooper A. and Freeman, R (eds), 1999, WELFARE AND CULTURE IN EUROPE: Towards a New Paradigm in Social Policy, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London.


Cousins, M., 2005, EUROPEAN WELFARE STATES: Comparative perspectives, Sages Publications, London.


De Vroom, B., Mirabile, M., L., Overbye, E. and Maltby, T., 2004, AGEING AND THE TRANSITION TO RETIREMENT: A Comparative Analysis of European

Welfare States (New Perspectives on Ageing & Later Life), Ashgate, Aldershot.

Hans van Ewijk, 2010,   European Social Policy and Social Work, Routledge

Lena Dominelli, 2010, Social Work in a Globalizing World, Polity Press

June Allan, Linda Briskman and Bob Pease (eds) 2009, Critical Social Work, Allen Unwin

Articles from International Journals


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *