1999/2000 ISSUE 2

In the year 1997/98 we initiated the electronic Journal of Social Work Theory and Practice. This Journal, like the School of Social Work Theory and Practice, within the Inter-University Center for Post-Graduate Studies (IUC) Dubrovnik, is service to the profession. We faced many challenges and obstacles, and we encountered many wonderful, creative moments. We learned a lot. Most importantly we learned that all kinds of partnerships are possible:

  • international connections and partnerships re. content of the journal,
  • international partnerships re. technical editing and design,
  • partnerships with and among the colleagues, other faculty and students after they discovered both, the School and the Journal!

Every year throughout the month of June we offer our academic program, which consists of five courses. Program is offered in the form of a postgraduate level symposium. Each symposium hosts some 20 - 25 participants from all regions of the world, mostly social work faculty, but we are seeing a growing number of social work students and practitioners. Five very different, one week, courses/symposia provide continuing education with special emphasis on international exchange of the ideas (theory) and experience (practice).Courses are:

  1. Social Work and Spirituality,
  2. Developing Neighborhood and Community Support Systems,
  3. Social Work with Children and Youth,
  4. Social Work and Social Policies, and
  5. Social Work with Juvenile Offenders.

We have done well in the past, in spite of the war in the region, thanks to many colleagues who were actively engaged in our program during the last 11 years. Also, we had an excellent additional support from many distinguished colleagues around the Globe! Under "Commentaries" is a brief reflection by Mr. Tom Johannesen, CEO and Secretary General of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW).

The IUC Dubrovnik is a very special, unique Center. We are an honors program, and a service to science and humanity. The Center has a small Secretariat. All others are volunteers. Although we may observe Organizing Directors, Course Directors, Resource Persons, Evaluators, and Participants, the only difference is in the amount of work we invest in our program before coming to Dubrovnik. Once there, we are all engaged in a very egalitarian, participatory inquiry, an open exchange of ideas and experience!

The IUC was founded almost 30 years ago by a very special group of scholars, people with a vision. Before the recent war in the region, Center had over 200 university members all over the world. The IUC and the City of Dubrovnik are working on revitalizing all programs, as well adding the new ones. Two years ago the Dubrovnik International Science and Education Center (DISEC) was established.

We are planning to add three more courses, a set of eight courses for the School. The new, 6th course is "Social Work Theories and Strategies" (for more information check the "News and Information"). In addition, we have envisioned many different transferable credit courses as a "one time" offering.

The ancient city of Dubrovnik is an important facet of the program. G.B. Shaw called Dubrovnik "Paradise on Earth". It is probably the most beautiful open classroom! Famous explorer Marco Polo was born on the Island of Korcula, at that time part of the Republic of Dubrovnik. The Republic of Dubrovnik was independent for over seven centuries. and maintained excellent diplomatic relations with many well established states. A lot can be learned from the ancient Republic including::

  • governance of the republic: not as power, rather as public service with very egalitarian approach to the "noble" and the "common" people;
  • LIBERTAS (freedom) as the symbol, flag, and the anthem of the Republic,
  • first state to make a public statement regarding slavery, and outlaw it in 1416;
  • high quality education for all, promoting knowledge about, and respect for human condition and human diversity,
  • high quality health care and social services (one of the oldest quarantines in Europe, one of the oldest European farmacies still in function, one of the oldest orphanages in Europe), and
  • one of the oldest theaters in Europe (Island of Hvar),
  • political, legal and cultural activities of the Republic of Dubrovnik have been preserved in the city archives since 1219.
    The IUC is well known for its principles, which follow the best traditions of the ancient Republic of Dubrovnik.

The IUC Dubrovnik is an ideal place for many different programs, but in particular for peace-promoting and/or peace creating. We invite colleagues from around the world to join our efforts to promote peace and justice for all and work toward a peaceable community.

We will continue our efforts to promote the IUC Dubrovnik and the June program in Dubrovnik. This is, and will be our primary academic program. At the same time we plan to offer new, additional programs in the Dubrovnik region and on the Web. There is a growing interest in distance learning, specially interactive electronic learning. Our journal has intention to further explore this option.



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Copyright for the I.U.C. Journal of Social Work Theory and Practice is owned by the Social Work Program, Department of Social Relations and Services, Bemidji State University, Bemidji, Minnesota, USA. One copy may be made (printed) for personal use; teachers may make multiple copies for student use if the copies are made available to students without charge. Permission must be secured from the editors for sale of any copies of articles or for any commercial use of the material published in the Journal.
2001 Copyright BSU/IUC Journal of Social Work Theory & Practice