2005/2006 ISSUE 12
Not being at any course in Dubrovnik in 2005 my reflections in this editorial will briefly dwell on some other issues. Due to a one year sabbatical spent at the University of Minnesota, School of Social Work, St.Paul, USA, my attention was paid to other tasks and new impressions came from the context I was in – not least being part of the IUC course Social Work and Social Policies.
IUC is certainly internationally oriented and globalization is a concern reflected from time to time in the IUC courses. Globalization, internationalization and mobility and their impact were brought to my attention in a different way in 2004.Staying in the US during the presidential election campaign in the fall of 2004, left a strong sense of confrontation between the local and the global. Listening to discussions related to foreign affairs as well as domestic concerns gave an idea of the gap between different ways of thinking. Concerns related to the situation in Iraq are just one example.
The active part played by groups of citizens during the election campaign was impressive. Strong energy vibrated. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) endorsed J. Kerry’s candidacy. NASW took a stand and encouraged social workers to get involved in the election. The result of the election brought about despair, disbelief and even embarrassment. Concern for social justice and worry for the future of the less fortunate was prevailing. Apprehension of what image Americans had drawn of themselves in the international community came forth. At the same time as other Americans were very happy with the result. This was a troublesome time with strong value issues at stake and the sincerity of being appropriately right dominated in both camps. Social Work is in interplay with national politics and policies. Political regimes promote as well as end social work practice and social welfare programs.
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