Anarchism and social work

Authored by: Mark Baldwin

The Routledge Handbook of Critical Social Work

Print publication date:  January  2019
Online publication date:  January  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138578432
eBook ISBN: 9781351264402
Adobe ISBN:


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Anarchism “seeks to create a society without government or State, a non-coercive, non-hierarchical world in which fully realized individuals associate freely with one another” (Marshall, 2008: 639). The ideal of dismantling authoritarian relationships to enable people to freely associate and be themselves makes anarchist theory and values close to social work. According to the International Federation of Social Workers & International Association of Schools of Social Work definition, social work “promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people” (IFSW and IASSW, 2014). Empowerment cannot become reality without dismantling authoritarian relationships, thus making the connection between anarchism and social work worthy of investigation.

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