Social work educators and practitioners are grappling with many difficulties confronting the profession in the context of an increasingly neoliberal world.
The contributors of this book examine how neoliberalism — and the modes with which it structures the world — has an impact on, and shapes, social work as a disciplinary ‘field’. Drawing on new empirical work, the chapters in this book highlight how neoliberalism is affecting social work practices ‘on the ground’. The book seeks to stimulate international debate on the totalizing effects of neoliberalism, and in so doing, also identify various ways through which it can be resisted both locally and globally.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the European Journal of Social Work.
Introduction: Social work and neoliberalism
Edgar Marthinsen, Anne Juberg, Nina S. Skjefstad and Paul Michael Garrett
1. What are we talking about when we talk about ‘Neoliberalism’?
Paul Michael Garrett
2. Neoliberalism as an art of governance: reflecting on techniques for securing life through direct social work practice
3. Servants of a ‘sinking titanic’ or actors of change? Contested identities of social workers in Sweden
Jessica H. Jönsson
4. Human rights and social justice in social work education: a critical realist comparative study of England and Spain
María Inés Martínez Herrero and Helen Charnley
5. Clients and case managers as neoliberal subjects? Shaping session tasks and everyday interactions with severely mentally ill (SMI) clients
Eunjung Lee, A. Ka Tat Tsang, Marion Bogo, Marjorie Johnstone and Jessica Herschman
6. ‘NEET’ to work? – Substance use disorder and youth unemployment in Norwegian public documents
Anne Juberg and Nina Schiøll Skjefstad
7. Responsibilisation, social work and inclusive social security in Finland
Suvi Raitakari, Kirsi Juhila and Jenni-Mari Räsänen
8. Impact of neo-liberalism in Spain: research from social work in relation to the public system of social services
Enrique Pastor Seller, Carmen Verde Diego and Ana I. Lima Fernandez
9. The neoliberal turn in Chilean social work: frontline struggles against individualism and fragmentation
Gianinna Muñoz Arce
10. Social workers: a new precariat? Precarity conditions of mental health social workers working in the non-profit sector in Greece
Maria Pentaraki and Konstantina Dionysopoulou
11. Social work’s ‘black hole’ or ‘Phoenix moment’? Impacts of the neoliberal path in social work profession in Portugal
Cristina Pinto Albuquerque
12. Romanian social workers facing the challenges of neo-liberalism
Florin Lazăr, Anca Mihai, Daniela Gaba, Alexandra Ciocănel, Georgiana Rentea and Shari Munch
13. Mind your own business: technologies for governing social worker subjects
14. Neoliberalisation, the social investment state and social work