International Social Work and the Radical Tradition
At the beginning of the 21st century international social work is faced with a paradox. The spread of neo-liberal globalisation has created a situation in which social work is beginning to emerge and develop in many countries where previously it did not exist. Yet this growth of social work internationally is taking place at a time where there is a widespread acceptance that social work in many Western countries is in crisis, often due to the dominance of market-based approaches. This suggests that the time is ripe for a re-assessment of that tradition within social work which, more than any other, has sought to link ‘public issues’ and ‘private troubles’ (or, in the contemporary injunction of the anti-capitalist movement to ‘think global, act local’), and to make connections between social work practice and wider social movements. This is the tradition of radical, or activist, social work. Through a series of case studies from several different countries including Nicaragua, India, South Africa and Palestine this book aims to provide such a re-assessment which will be of importance to academics and practitioners who are keen to consider the nature and processes of social work in a changing world.