Transnational convergence, diffusion and transfer in social policy and social work

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The 2011 ERIS Conference with the title „Transnational convergence, diffusion and transfer in social policy and social work“ was held from Oct. 12-14th at the Catholic University of Eichstätt – Ingolstadt.

Over 80 participants from around the globe joined the event, which was generously funded by the German “Thyssen-Stiftung”.

Young Academics Conference

The three day program started in the morning of the 12th of October with a platform for young scientists, who want to share and discuss their scientific hypothesis with a greater and international community. The Young Academics conference had six PhD - Students from across Europe as speakers. Their various topics and the appending research designs were intensively discussed in the 3 hour conference, which can therefore be seen as a great success and was recommended very positive alongside the students and the professors.

Main Conference

The “Main” Conference started thematically with some theoretical approaches and had his opening speech from Prof. Dr. Erath (Eichstätt) who spoke about “Social work and Europe or European Social Work? A theoretical debate?”. Following up Dr. Schulte presented some very interesting thoughts concerning the question “Do the European social systems converge due to the European wide entitlement to social benefits?”. Afterwards to workshops with the titles “Do the EU member states´ systems of social security converge?”(moderated by Prof.Dr. Schieren/Eichstätt) and “Social Policy in the EU: The effects of institutional change on decision making in organizations.” (moderated by Prof. Dr. Selck/ Oldenburg).

The second which had a more methodological approach in focus started with Prof. Dr. Littlechild (Hertfordshire) who reported on the theme “Towards evidence based practice – a pathway to a European social work identity”. Afterwards Dr. Hacker from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (Foto) presented to the issue “The open method of coordination and European social policy. How to measure policy transfer and system convergence. The Case of the Pensions OMC”.

Two workshops completed the forenoon program. The first one, moderated by Prof. Dr. Hämäläinen (Kuopio), focused on “European trends in social work methods and practices”. The second one was facilitated by Prof. Dr. Borrmann (Landshut) and was titled European Social Work – a matter of concern?

The afternoon session started with a speech from Prof. Dr. Gojova (Ostrava). She presented on the interesting title “The ´new´ Eastern European countries – a field of experiment for a future social Europe”. Prof. Dr. Fedke (Landshut) followed her with his speech about “Managing social work across Europe – where are the differences?”.

Thursdays’ program was rounded up by two interesting workshops, one was moderated by Ass. Prof. Dr. Sramata (Trnva) and her colleague Prof. Dr. Kallay (Trnva). They paid attention to “Trends in social policy and social work in Eastern Europe”. The second one was facilitated by Prof. Dr. Chytil (Ostrava) and put a stress on the “European social model and Social Services”.

Friday was the “International highlight day” and was started by Prof. Dr. Vidya Rao from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, India. (Foto) She gave the audience a deeper insight on the development of Social Work and Social Policy in India.

Afterwards Prof. Dr. Mel Gray from the University of Newcastle, Australia, presented on the expansion of Social Work in Australia, rounded up by her American colleague Prof. Dr. Barreta – Herman from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul. In addition to some historical facts on Social Work and Social Policy in the United States, she pointed out some current and future trends, supporting the argument of a “macro – practice”.

Concluding the whole three days the “non European” Professors were invited to share their thoughts on “European Social Work” from their specific point of view in a conference closing panel discussion.


Updated: 18. 11. 2022