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Durham University

Department of Sociology

Completed Projects

Social Work and Social Movements in the Context of Conflict

A research project of the Department of Sociology.


The ongoing refugee crisis, acts as a reminder of the critical, complex and at times contentious nature of social work in the context of armed and political conflict. The history of social work is full of inspiring examples of unconditional commitment to peace, social justice and solidarity with the victims of armed conflict. Nevertheless, we should not suppress and ignore the grim chapters of the profession’s history, when social workers and social services, directly or indirectly, collaborated with authoritarian regimes. Lessons from history and examples from current practice will be explored in this international symposium. The event will be organised around three round-table sessions, allowing space for debate and dialogue among participants.


Academics and researchers from several countries, including the UK, Germany, Bosnia, Greece, Nepal Cyprus and Ireland will be exploring the following topics:

  • Refugee crisis and social work
  • Social services and social policies in the context of armed conflict
  • Social Services and transitional justice
  • A critique of "liberal peace”
  • “State of emergency” and human rights
  • Social services for veterans and victims of conflict


From other departments