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Ambivalences of Inclusion in Society and Social Work

Research-Based Reflections in Four European Countries

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  • © 2021


  • Presents four different EU country perspectives on inclusion with different (national) understandings
  • Offers a conceptual comparison of the topic across The Netherlands, Spain, Croatia, and Germany
  • Shares evidence-based reflections on inclusive society and the role of social work
  • Combines inclusion and social work as a practice element
  • Provides in-depth knowledge on service provision in the four featured European countries
  • Includes essential elements on a taken-for-granted "good" concept with critical considerations
  • Considers the (re)presentation of vulnerable groups
  • Is useful to a wide range of readers in education, practice, and research

Part of the book series: European Social Work Education and Practice (ESWEP)

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About this book

This book represents the work of the European Research Network: Inclusive Society and the Role of Social Work, which comprises researchers from Barcelona, Spain; Koblenz, Germany; Maastricht, The Netherlands; and Zagreb, Croatia. The authors present research results and reflections from these four different European countries to provide a comprehensive introduction and discussion of the ambivalences of inclusive processes in society and social work.

The development towards an inclusive society is a subject of ongoing discussion in Europe. How the subject is addressed, through an examination of political and social characteristics, differs significantly by country. Each country-specific chapter includes evidence-based reflections on inclusive society and the role of social work:

  • In The Netherlands, there is evidence of a top-down process implementing inclusive social policy and social work principles through the self-proclaimed ‘participationsociety’.
  • In Spain, the process to inclusion is accompanied by the third sector often replacing governmental responsibilities, namely through the bottom-up activities of non-governmental organizations in social work.
  • In Croatia, inclusion is a state initiative in transitioning society and an academic approach to deinstitutionalising social work.
  • In Germany, inclusion is discussed in social systems theory and the reform of school systems. In the migration discourse it was introduced as a less-loaded alternative to integration.

Ambivalences of Inclusion in Society and Social Work: Research-Based Reflections in Four European Countries is a useful resource for learners, teachers, practitioners, and researchers in social work, as well as those who have an interest in social policy, social welfare, and sociology.

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Table of contents (6 chapters)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Faculty of Social Sciences, Koblenz University of Applied Sciences, Koblenz, Germany

    Stephan Bundschuh

  • Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Social Studies Academy, Sittard, The Netherlands

    Maria José Freitas

  • Faculty of Education, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

    Càndid Palacín Bartrolí

  • Department of Social Work, Faculty of Law University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

    Nino Žganec

About the editors

Stephan Bundschuh is Professor of Child and Youth Services in the Faculty of Social Sciences, Koblenz University of Applied Sciences. He is also director of the faculty’s Institute of Research and Further Education (IFW). After studying Philosophy, Social Sciences and History, he went on to complete his PhD in Social Philosophy. He worked in the field of political education for several years, including as Managing Director of an anti-racism centre focused on providing information
and further education. His academic teaching and research interests include authoritarian tendencies, anti-racist behaviour and educational processes in relation to young people, as well as the role of child and youth services in (post-)migrant societies. His most recent research focuses on inclusion, awareness of racism in childcare centres and remembrance education in youth work.

Maria José Freitas is a researcher and lecturer at the Academy of Social Studies, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, where she conducts research on a range of social integration issues. She also teaches social work research skills to new students and guides final-year social work students through their Bachelor’s research projects.

She has worked in the field of social work education for many years and has a particular affinity to a transnational European perspective. Since the start of her career at the European Centre for Work and Society in Maastricht, she has been committed to promoting social work education and research from a European perspective. This European mindset continued in her work as a lecturer on the transnational Comparative European Social Studies Master’s programme (MACESS) and as a key member of the European Platform for Worldwide Social Work (EUSW) Thematic Network project.

Càndid Palacín Bartrolí is a professor andresearcher in the Social Work Training and Research Section (UFR) at the University of Barcelona. He has a doctorate from the University of Barcelona and is a member of the university’s Research and Innovation Group in Social Work (GRITS). He also teaches on the Master’s in Medical Social Work at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC).

He is a social worker, psychologist and psychotherapist, a member of the School of Clinical Psychoanalysis for Children and Adolescents (ECPNA) and a contributor to the UMBRAL psychological assistance network. He has worked for a trade union, a third sector organisation and in the public sector and is particularly dedicated to migration issues. He has published widely on social work, migration and social intervention models. His current research focuses on unaccompanied migrant minors and social work with families.

Nino Žganec is Professor of Social Work Theory and Methods in the Department of Social Work, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb. He completed his studies in this faculty and has worked there throughout his career—as an assistant professor, associate professor and now full professor. His practical and research interests include community social work, ethics and human rights, the organisation of social services and international social work. He has published widely in Croatian and international journals and books, participated in several national and international research projects and is a keynote speaker at social work conferences in Croatia and around the world.

He is also an experienced policymaker and served as Assistant Minister and then as State Secretary in the Croatian Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (2000–2005). During his term in office, comprehensive reforms of the social care sector were launched. Since 2011, he has been a member of the executive committee of the European Association of Schools of Social Work (EASSW) and was president of the association (2015–2019). During this period, he was also vice-president of the International Association of Schools of Social work (IASSW).

He was a member of the executive committee of the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) and president of the Croatian Anti-Poverty Network (2014–2020). He lectures on graduate and postgraduate programmes, including PhD programmes, in several European countries.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Ambivalences of Inclusion in Society and Social Work

  • Book Subtitle: Research-Based Reflections in Four European Countries

  • Editors: Stephan Bundschuh, Maria José Freitas, Càndid Palacín Bartrolí, Nino Žganec

  • Series Title: European Social Work Education and Practice

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-55445-3Published: 29 October 2020

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-55448-4Published: 29 October 2021

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-55446-0Published: 28 October 2020

  • Series ISSN: 2662-2440

  • Series E-ISSN: 2662-2459

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XXIV, 166

  • Number of Illustrations: 1 b/w illustrations, 4 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Social Work, Social Sciences, general, Politics of the Welfare State, Comparative Social Policy

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