Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik

An independent international centre for advanced studies


11 Sep 2016 - 16 Sep 2016
Course directors:
Vito Flaker, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Shula Ramon, University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Lorenzo Toresini, Centre for Research in Menthal Health, Merano, Italy
Course description:

Cross-narratives of deinstitutionalisation

Deinstitutionalisation has become central to social work, as it changes the lives of service users, its multidisciplinary work, its organisation, methods and the epistemological position. Recognition of service users’ strengths and potential for recovery in its new meaning became possible only with de-institutionalisation. This radical change has implications also to the interactions and power relations between social workers and service users, their family members, other professions and the general public.

We explore the deinstitutionalisation in different settings. We learn from the experiences of people who have experienced institutionalisation and deinstitutionalisation, and how to prevent mini institutionalisation and trans-institutionalisation in the community.

Course directors (alphabetically):

Miroslav Brkić, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Vito Flaker, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Shula Ramon, University of Hertfordshire, England

Lorenzo Toresini, Centre for Research in Mental Health (formerly), Merano, Italy

2016 Organising director:

Vito Flaker, Faculty for Social Work, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Phone: +386 31872847



Andreja Rafaelič, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (guest)


Deinstitutionalisation has become a global platform and one of the main concerns of care provision in the EU. It has, however, had different beginnings, has been performed in different ways, with different speed, different principles and methods. People (professionals and service users) involved in the process have different experiences: in terms of political will, support and obstacles they face. However, different narratives of deinstitutionalisation show that the process of transition from institutional to community care is a very challenging one with opportunities and obstacles.

Deinstitutionalisation is also a narrative that crosses different and assembles diverse planesof action. It is a profoundly personal experience, encompassing methodical, organisational, financial, legal transformations, actions and arrangements. Above all, it is a highly ethical enterprise and produces a “spirit of deinstitutionalisation” – a movement of radical humanism, hope and change – the practical utopia.

Experiences on deinstitutionalisation also call for international support, collaboration and action – not only on the level of creating joint policy and deinstitutionalisation strategies, but also on the level of everyday struggles for a world without institutions. Therefore, the course on deinstitutionalisation this year is an opportunity to share different accounts and experiences of deinstitutionalisation, and a meeting to search and create new ways of cross-national collaboration between different people working on the transition from institutional to community care.

Potential contributors (alphabetically):

Miroslav Brkić, Serbia; Jean-Yves Febery, France; MirkoJankelić, Serbia; Martina Kalčić, Croatia; Gabor Kapocs, Hungary; LadislavLamza, Croatia; Jim Mandiberg, USA; Roberto Mezzina, Italy; Jan Pfeiffer, Czech Republic; Hans Pfefferer Wolf, Germany; Andreja Rafaelič, Slovenia; Shula Ramon, UK.

Attached documents
Work Schedule