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When Machiavelli breaks across borders: child protection and disability rights in the face of neoliberal and global social work
Limbach-Reich, Arthur; Schulze-Kruedener, Joergen


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Keywords :
Social Work Education; Neoliberalism; Machiavelli
Abstract :
[en] A neoliberal and globally organized social work is the focus of this presentation, which discusses the very first results of an transnational research project on cross-border child protection and disability rights in the Greater Region including Belgium, Germany, France and Luxembourg (EUR&QUA) According to UN Conventions (UNCRC, 1990 and UNCRPD, 2006), States Parties shall ensure and promote the full realisation of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all children and persons with disabilities. Essentially, the Conventions call upon States Parties to take legislative, administrative and other measures to implement the rights recognised in both Conventions. Such imperatives seem to contradict a neoliberal social policy, which is oriented towards restraint in market intervention, strict austerity and cost reduction, and individualisation of social problems (Cummins, 2018). Actually, initial research results suggest that cross-border social work care for children and their families is not always sufficient. Crossing the border often means breaking off helping relations in the home country and there is hardly any professional exchange between social work providers involved. As a result, a return to the original life context desired by the clients seems hardly feasible (EUR&QUA 2019). Furthermore, practitioners expressed concern that diagnoses and support needs were formulated with a targeted focus on care in a neighbouring country. The research also identified cases that were not in line with the Brussels-II-Treaty on cross-border custody procedures. Some results may be derived less from optimal child protection and disability rights than from neo-liberalism, managerialism and austerity. In order to counter this development, social work needs something like Machiavellian competences (Kusiak, 2018; Drouard, 2008), which consist of critically illuminating a dominant ideology, conducting empirical research and acquiring the corresponding strategic knowledge. To this end, the research project aims to establish a Master's programme to empower future social worker in cross-boarder protection tasks.
Disciplines :
Social work & social policy
Author, co-author :
Limbach-Reich, Arthur ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Education and Social Work (DESW)
Schulze-Kruedener, Joergen;  University of Trier
Language :
Title :
When Machiavelli breaks across borders: child protection and disability rights in the face of neoliberal and global social work
Publication date :
June 2020
Event name :
Joint World Conference On Social Work Education And Social Development: Promoting Human Relationships: Bridging The Future
Event organizer :
SWESD 2020:
Event place :
Rimini, Italy
Event date :
from 28-06-2020 to 01-07-2020, postponed but finally canceled
Audience :
Available on ORBilu :
since 10 November 2020


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