Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik

An independent international centre for advanced studies


13 Jun 2010 - 19 Jun 2010
Course directors:
Paul Stubbs, Institute of Economics, Zagreb, Croatia
Juha Erkki Antero Hämäläinen, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
Horst Sing, University of Applied Sciences, Munich, Germany
Riitta Vepsalainen, STAKES, Helsinki, Finland
Course description:


Inter University Centre (IUC) Dubrovnik, Croatia

School of Social Work Theory and Practice

Social Work and Social Policies Course

"The consequences of the global economic crisis

for social work and social policies"

14-18 June 2010

Course directors:

Horst Sing, Catholic University Eichstaett, Germany


Paul Stubbs, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb, Croatia


Riitta Vornanen, University of Eastern Finland, Finland


Course Description

The Social Work and Social Policies course is a part of the annual School of Social Work Theory and Practice in Dubrovnik, Croatia. As its title suggests, its main focus is on the relationship between social work and social policy, with a particular emphasis on comparative, regional and global dimensions. It has traditionally explored the relationship between different welfare state and social policy models and their implications for social work. The course brings together experienced and beginning practitioners, activists, researchers and teachers to explore the contemporary challenges facing social work and social policy in different parts of the world.

This year we take as our main theme the Consequences of the Global Economic and Financial Crisis for Social Policy and Social Work. This unprecedented crisis continues to have direct and significant social impacts on poor and vulnerable populations throughout the world. It is, also, a particular challenge for both social policy and social work with policy makers and practitioners trying to respond to the crisis and also exploring which social policy models and social work approaches can best respond to the crisis and, indeed, offer a more sustainable social protection system to respond to crises in the future.

The course offers an opportunity to focus on the direct impacts of the global recession on poverty and exclusion in different parts of the world. Have the ‘traditional poor’ fared worse than the ‘new poor’?. How can social work maintain its focus on prevention, protection and empowerment in the face of the need for a ‘firefighting’ approach to the crisis? Is there a tendency in some parts of the world to further stigmatise the vulnerable as somehow ‘undeserving’ of support when fiscal resources are limited?

Beyond these questions, however, we also want to explore the relationship between macro-level social, political and economic questions and more micro-level social work issues. We plan to explore this relationship and its challenges in changing societies and a changing world, with a particular focus on both the direct consequences of the recession for different population groups and wider questions of social policy and social work approaches and models. Whilst it has become something of a cliché that crisis always contains within it opportunities for progressive change, there is evidence, at least at the level of rhetoric, that this crisis may lead to a significant shift in terms of the role of social policy and social work in relation to economic and political systems, institutions and thinking.

The course welcomes a wide range of contributions which focus on any of these or related questions, whether in terms of direct front-line experience or research or wider reflection. Above all, our aim is to promote a dialogue between those more focused on social policy questions and those whose emphasis is more on social work. Participants are welcome to focus on single country experiences, on comparative work or on wider issues such as the role of regional bodies like the European Union. We particularly welcome reflection from countries in transition in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union where some of the impacts of the crisis have been most profound.

We aim to utilize a range of working methods in the course including traditional longer or shorter oral presentations, and small group and plenary discussions. We would like everyone who is accepted as a participant to prepare a presentation, either a longer (up to 30 minutes) more formal presentation or a short (10 minutes) reflection on an issue of concern. We are happy to accept group presentations. We also welcome innovative presentations using film, video or photographic materials.

How to Apply

Anyone interested in participating should send a brief abstract (c.100-200 words) of their proposed presentation and a short cv/resume in English to Paul Stubbs by email The deadline for applications is 26 April 2010 and all applicants will be notified as to whether they have been accepted for the course by 6 May 2010 at the latest. We are interested in attracting participants with different levels and kinds of experience, including experienced scholars and researchers, graduate and postgraduate students, senior and junior practitioners, and activists.

Further details

The working language of the course is English. Participants are expected to attend for the whole five days of the course. A course fee must be paid to the IUC of €40 payable on arrival. We have no funds to support participation but a number of scholarships covering accommodation and, in some cases, travel, are available for academic participants from Croatia (Ministry of Education Scholarships), and from Eastern Europe (HESP/OSI Scholarships). More details on the course, on the IUC and on the scholarships can be found on the IUC website


Monday 14 June 2010

09.30 Introduction and welcome

10.00 Lecture: Horst Sing, Catholic University of Eichstaett, Germany

“The consequences of the global economic crisis for social work and social policies: some remarks concerning epistemological aspects of the issue”


11.30 Coffee break

12.00 Talking point: (tbc)

“The impacts of the crisis on social work and social policies in Sri Lanka”

1.00 pm Lunch

3.30 pm Presentation: Vito Flaker, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

“The Crisis and Long-term Care”

5.00 pm Close

Tuesday 15 June 2010

09.30 Lecture: Riitta Vornanen (co authors: Juha Hämäläinen and Pirjo Pölkki), Department of Social Sciences, University of Eastern Finland

“Influences of the Economic Recession on Child Welfare Policy and Practice in Finland”


11.00 Coffee Break

11.30 Lecture: Frauke Ulrike Art, Ilona Endres, Teresa Haimerl, Anna Suß, Dorit Sing, KSFH, Munich, Germany

„The Impact of the Global Economic Crisis on Social Work in Bavaria“


1.00 pm Lunch

3.30 pm Presentations:

1. Introduction: The social impacts of the crisis in the Western Balkans, Paul Stubbs, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb, Croatia

2. The JIM in Croatia – crisis and help for vulnerable groups, Jelena Ivelić and Saša Petar, University of Zagreb, Croatia

3. The Impacts of the Crisis in Macedonia Daniela Jocevska (and Andrijana Ilevska?), University of St Cyril and Metodius, Skopje, Macedonia


5.00 pm Close

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Joint Programme with 'Social Work with Juvenile Offenders' Course

09.00 Marko Stengl 'Modelling of Social Work Practice with Children in Trouble with Benavioural Disorders'

10.30 Coffee

11.00 Eileen Oak 'Incorporating Gypsy Traveller Needs into the Curriculum'

12.30 Lunch

1.30 p.m. Ružica Jurčević 'The Effects of Globalization on Social Work (Education and Practice)

3.00 p.m. Break

3.30 p.m. Lecture: Hubert Jall and Franz Matthes, KFSH, Munich, Germnay

“The impact of the worldwide financial crisis – risks and opportunities for social work”


5.00 pm Close

Thursday 17 June 2010

Discussion/Trip to Lokrum or elsewhere

Friday 18 June 2010

09.30 Lecture: Paul Stubbs, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb, Croatia

„The Crisis and Political Economy of Child Well-Being in Transition“


11.00 Coffee break

11.30 Presentation: Merita Xhumari, University of Tirana, Albania

„The Crisis and Pension Systems in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia“

1.00 pm Evaluation and Conclusion

1.30 pm Close

Attached documents
General Information