Social workers on both sides of the Tasman Sea are working hard to address the unrelenting tide of policies that aim to reduce the role of a welfare system necessary to ensure the wellbeing and safety of all people. Hardly a day goes by without a threat to public health, social housing, income maintenance and essential social services. Aided by social media connections New Zealand and Australian social workers and researchers are recognising the common battles we face. Its is thus timely to create opportunities for sharing trans-Tasman ideas on radical social work and critical social policy perspectives.
The Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work journal is seeking contributions to a special issue on critical and radical perspectives in social work and social policy in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia to be published in 2017. The special issue will be edited by editorial collective members Liz Beddoe, Neil Ballantyne and a guest editor Heather Fraser, from Flinders University in South Australia.Heather is the co-author with Nik Taylor of the forthcoming book “Neoliberalization, universities and the public intellectual :Species, gender and class and the production of knowledge” out soon in Palgrave.
In a recent article entitled “Taking a political stance in social work” David McKendrick and Stephen Webb (2014, p.359) wrote:
“There is something deeply experiential about taking a political stance. While we face the difficult challenge of inspiring sympathisers and those already wedded to core progressive values, within social work we face the bigger challenge of convincing the uncommitted – and we assume there are many – that there is something worthwhile to be had in taking a political stance and engaging in a radical project. We are persuaded, often by ourselves, that radical politics is futile. So we tend towards compromise, resignation and indifference. Mainstream liberal social work discourse has a tendency to limit and even dislodge our experience of what is important and urgent. It tries to persuade us that social work is politically neutral. Thus, it can take over our voice and regulate our feelings into ones of apathy or disinterest”.
It is this resigned sense of apathy, and the exhaustion of our engagement in a seemingly never-ending struggle for social justice in our everyday micro practice that the editors hope to address in this special issue. We will be looking for contributions which address critical perspectives on contemporary practice and policy developments, indigenous social work, post-colonialism, anti-racism, feminism, and progressive social work activism, theory, policy, practice, research and education.
We will also seek or commission book reviews and short topical pieces offering readers’ critical commentaries on published articles, analyses of policy or practice developments, and reports on research-informed practice innovations.
Full articles should be no longer than 6500 words including references and material in tables. Shorter pieces may focus on recent events or current topics of relevance to the theme and may contribute a unique perspective for practitioners, educators and students. Such shorter submissions should be no longer than 2000 words and be properly referenced.
Submissions will be anonymously reviewed by at least two reviewers. Reviewers will be asked to offer constructive feedback to authors. The deadline for submission of full papers for this themed issue is 17 December 2016. [NB talk to me if you still have an idea for this issue even though the official deadline is passed].
Submission: Please write to the editors with a brief outline of your intended article for this special issue and we will send you the author guidelines for the preparation of your manuscript.
Read about the scope of the journal here
Contact the editors here: firstname.lastname@example.org
McKendrick, D., & Webb, S. A. (2014). Taking a political stance in social work. Critical and Radical Social Work, 2(3), 357-369. doi:10.1332/204986014×14096553584619