SOCIAL WORK AND PEACE AND CONFLICT STUDIES: PARTNERSHIP WITH PROMISE
Abstract: In a world fraught with images and experience of violence and discord, global citizens often feel powerless to impact the larger picture – world peace. This article argues that what might be considered smaller acts of positive relationship are the essential components of peace building – individual and community acts. Seeing ways to further develop the practice of peacebuilding, we look at the development of the fields of Social Work and Peace and Conflict Studies considering their intersection of values, theories and skills and see the importance of further research and collaboration for global community development.
The purpose of the article is aimed at studying the contributions of social workers towards building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. Starting with a brief overview of the history of Social Work, the article examines the development of social work as a discipline over the past more than a hundred years; it also describes the current situation of the social work profession. The view then turns into a new field of research, which is Peace and Conflict Studies. The definitions of «peacebuilding», as well as some basic and new theories in Peace and Conflict Studies are considered. It is determined that social work can be an extremely necessary resource for the further development of Peace and Conflict Studies theory and practice, and fosters active peacebuilding. The article argues that both Social Work and Peace and Conflict Studies, based on values and theories related to human rights, human security and social justice can be inextricably interconnected. The conclusion of the article contributes to a more in-depth and focused dialogue between Social Work and Peace and Conflict Studies in order to more methodically determine the appropriate analytical tools and skills that can help create and maintain a more integrated, fair, shared world.
Results: In time, Social work as profession, based on values and attitudes, shifted from the earlier patriarchal approach, into a field that is built on more collaborative relationships, wherein social workers still do indeed become involved in the lives of people when they are most vulnerable. However, now the social work profession espouses that all people have intrinsic value and the social worker facilitates the processes necessary to assist people to carry out the tasks required for a full, healthy life. Social work as a profession also aims to improve social conditions and structures that support a good quality of life for all. In 2014, the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) and the International Association of Schools of Social Workers (IASSW) agreed upon a global definition of social work. The actual tasks of a social worker can be quite diverse. A social work professional may work with individuals, families, and/or communities in a variety of settings and roles that will facilitate their emancipation and empowerment. In addition to their practical work, social workers may also teach and train others working in the area of social policy development, simultaneously respecting cultural and other differences, collaborating for a new paradigm of social development. It is mentioned in the article that Peace and Conflict Studies emerged from the study of war and the processes of de-escalating armament acquisitions is considered to be one tool in resolving conflict and diminishing the likelihood of further violence. As the Peace and Conflict Studies field grew, it was acknowledged that peace must be built through the involvement of all layers of society, and that lasting peace comes through “multi-track diplomacy” – using a systems approach to work with people from the grassroots to mid-level elites, to the highest level of government and all of these levels or “tracks” must be involved in education, research, and even activism in an all inclusive, all encompassing approach to addressing conflict and building peace. Just as the role of the social worker has changed and developed over time, so too has the role of “peacebuilder”. In 2007, the United Nations defined peacebuilding as a process that involves a range of measures targeted to reduce the risk of lapsing or relapsing into conflict by strengthening national capacities at all levels of conflict management, and to lay the foundations for sustainable peace and development. In 2009 the UN changed its definition of human security to …the need to protect the vital core of all human lives in ways that enhance human freedoms and human fulfillment. Human security means protecting fundamental freedoms – freedoms that are the essence of life. It means protecting people from critical (severe) and pervasive (widespread) threats and situations. It means using processes that build on people’s strengths and aspirations. It means creating political, social, environmental, economic, military and cultural systems that give people the building blocks of survival, livelihood and dignity. The importance was emphasized to create cultures of peace – cultures of inclusion, where all people have their needs met, depending a great deal on relationships. School programs were developed to assist children to build empathy, a foundational quality for relationship building. “Emancipatory peacebuilding”, focused on community development work done in participation with communities rather than for them gained further support. It is mentioned that there are not many Peace and Conflict Studies university programs in the world, but those existing in the West focus on theory, conflict analysis, and practice, with the practice at the time of this writing, heavily dependent on skills of mediation and conflict resolution. Both Social Work and Peace and Conflict Studies espouse values of social inclusion, social justice, human rights, and facilitation of personal agency – individual human security and citizen empowerment through which safe and healthy communities are built. Modern Social Work acknowledges that it is often not an individual or group that needs to change in order to get their needs met – it may be the system within which they live – structural change. In the early 1990’s Social Work education openly acknowledged the need for a gendered analysis in the work that social workers do – and some schools began to teach required courses on feminist perspectives to policy and practice. In its turn Peace and Conflict Studies has also realized the importance of a gendered views in analyzing and working in any context.
Originality: Currently Peace and Conflict Studies has focused less on stopping war per se and more on the grassroots – considering how communities solve conflict. Social Work also teaches that those who work with challenged and traumatized individuals and communities must be self-aware and take special measures to monitor the impact of the work on themselves, for their own health’s sake as well as for the sake of the people with whom they work.
Conclusions: This paper began to examine the relationship between the two fields of study, which now include theory, practice and research related to social justice and genuine human security. Social Work has a longer history as a recognized discipline and profession, with schools and faculties, as well as training programs that teach not only theory, but also practical skills of working with individuals, families and communities, as well as self-care and personal management of a clinical social worker. Peace and Conflict Studies is a much younger field of education, borrowed from conflict resolution; there are some schools that teach courses in mediation and conflict resolution, conflict analysis and conflict transformation. However, since the Peace and Conflict Studies looks further to build a theory and to develop analysis tools and skills to go beyond the conflict to the establishment of peaceful communities, this paper points to the Social Work as an allied branch of training and practice that can be a wonderful resource in the practice of peacebuilding. In addition, since both areas recognize the importance of working with the gender issues using a culture-sensitive approach to practice and research, more research and reflection is needed in order to better use each of these areas to develop the research, practice and pedagogy needed to build more peaceful and just world.
Barker, Robert L. "1898-1998 100 Years Professional Social Work: Milestones in the Development of Social Work and Social Welfare." Social Workers.org. National Association of Social Workers. n.d. https://www.socialworkers.org/profession/centennial/milestones_3.htm (accessed Feburary 17, 2017)
The Social Work Dictionary, 3rd edition. NASW Press, National Association of Social Workers, 1995.
Bishop, Ann. Becoming and ally: Breaking through the cycle of oppression in people. Halifax, NB: Fernwood Publishing, 1994/2000.
Boulding, E. Cultures of Peace: The hidden side of history. New York: Syracuse University Press, 2000.
Burton, John. Conflict: Human Needs Theory . Palgrave Macmillan UK, 1990.
Canadian Association of Social Workers. "Canadian Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics." Canadian Association of Social Workers. 2005. http://www.casw-acts.ca/en/Code-of-Ethics (accessed February 17, 2017).
Chadron State College. "Roles of a Social Worker." Chadron State College . Nebraska Chadron State College. n.d. http:/www.csc.edu/dpsw/sw/careers/roles.csc (accessed February 17, 2017).
Chinn, Peggy. Peace and power: Creative leadership for building community 6th ed. Mississauga, ON: Jones and Bartlett Publishers Canada, 2004.
Clarke, Mary Anne. As a Social Worker in Northern First Nations am I also a Peacebuilder? Master’s Thesis. Winnipeg, MB: University of Manitoba, 2014.
Colorado State University. "Colorado State University." School of Social Work: BSW Practice Roles. 2015. www.ssw.chhs.colostate.edu/students/undergraduate/bsw-practice-roles.aspx (accessed February 17, 2017).
Commision on Human Security. Human Security Now. New York, 2003.
De Groot, Stephen. Responsive Leadership in Social Services: A Practical Approach for Optimizing Engagement and Performance. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2016.
Diamond, Louise, and J.W. McDonald. Multi-Track Diplomacy: A Systems Approach to Peace. Kumarian Press, 1996.
Social work: Theory and practice for a changing profession. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2004.
"Internationalizing Social Work: Introducing Issues of Relevance." In Broadening Horizons: International Exchanges in Social Work, edited by L. Dominelli and W. Thompson Bernard. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003.
Eastern Mennonite University. Peace Studies at EMU. 2017. www.emu.edu/peacebuilding/ (accessed March 14, 2017).
Enloe, C. Bananas, beaches and bases: Making feminist sense of international politics. Berkely: University of California Press, 2000/1989.
Flaherty, M, and C. Rocke. "Reconstructing communities: Aboriginal grandmothers building peace in Manitoba, Canada." In Creating the third force: Indigenous ways of peacebuilding, edited by H. Tuso and M. Flaherty. Lexington, 2016.
Flaherty, M. P. "It Takes a Vision to Raise a Nation: Peacebuilding with Men in Ukraine." In Society Under Construction: Opportunities and Risks. Bilasko: Baiala: Technical-Humanitarian Academy, 2016.
Peacebuilding with women in Ukraine: Using narrative to envision a common future. Lanham: Lexington, 2012.
"Peace-talk with Youth in Ukraine: Building Community with Internally Displaced People." In Society Under Construction: Opportunities and Risks, Vol. 2. Lviv: Lviv Polytechnic National University, 2016.
Flaherty, M., and N. Hansen. "(Dis)ability, Gender and Peacebuilding." In Gender and Peacebuiding: All Hands Required, edited by M. Flaherty, S. Byrne, T. Matyok and H. Tuso. Lanham: Lexington, 2015.
Flaherty, M., and S. Stavkova. "Conversation with an interpreter: Considerations for cross-language, crosscultural peacebuilding research." Peace and Conflict Studies (Nova South-East University) 19, no. 2 (Fall 2012): 237-258.
Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Seabury Press, 1970.
Galtung, Johan. "Achieving Peace." TRANSCEND. 1975. https://www.transcend.org/galtung/papers/Achieving%20Peace.pdf (accessed February 17, 2017).
Galtung, Johan. "An Editorial." Journal of Peace Research 1 (1964): 1-4.
Gordon, M. The roots of empahty: Changing the world child by child. Toronto: Thomals Allen Publishers, 2005.
Hayduk, Nina, and Brad McKenzie. "Developing a Sustainable Model of Social Work Education in Ukraine." In International Social Development: Social Work Experiences and Perspectives, 147-169. Winnipeg, MB: Fernwood Publishing, 2012.
Heinonen, Tuula, and Julie Drolet, . International Social Development: Social Work Experiences and Perspectives. Winnipeg: Fernwood Press, 2012.
Horkheimer, M., and T. Adorno. Dialectic of Enlightenment. London: Verso, 1947/1979.
International Federation of Social Workers. "Global Defintion of Social Work." International Federation of Social Work. 2014. http://ifsw.org/get-involved/global-definition-of-social-work (accessed February 17, 2017).
Jones, Sue. Critical Learning for Social Work Students, 2nd ed. Los Angeles: Sage, 2013.
Kriesburg, Louis. Constructive Conflicts: From Escalation to Resolution. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 1998.
Lederach, J. P. Building peace: Sustainable reconciliation in divided societies. Washington, D. C.: United States Institute of Peace, 1997.
Preparing for peace: Conflict transformation across cultures. New York: Syracuse University Press, 1995.
The moral imagination: The art and soul of building peace. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
Lederach, John Paul, and Angela Lederach. When Blood and Bones Cry Out: Journeys through the Soundscape of Healing and Reconciliation. Oxford University Press, 2011. 38. Marker, Sandra. "Unmet Human Needs." Beyond Intractability. August 2003. www.beyondintractability.org/essay/human-needs (accessed February 17, 2017).
Marples, David. Heroes and Villains: Creating National History in Contemporary Ukraine. New York, NY: CEU Press, 2007.
Marx, K., and F. Engels. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Introduced by Ernest Mandel. Translated by Ben Fowkes. New York: Vintage Books, 1897/1976.
Maschietto, Roberta H. "Dilemmas of Peace Studies Fieldwork with Emancipatory Concerns." Journal of Peace, Conflict & Development 21 (March 2015): 167-179.
Maslow, Abraham H. Motivation and Personality. New York: Harper and Row, 1954.
Midgley, James. Social Welfare in a Global Context. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1997.
Pennell, J., M. Flaherty, N. Gravel, E. Milliken, and M. Neuman. "Feminist Social Work Education in Mainstream and Non-Mainstream Classrooms." Affilia Journal of Women and Social Work 8 (1993): 317338.
Rapoport, Anatol. Fights, Games, and Debates. Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press, 1960.
Reardon, B.A., and A. Hans, . The gender imperative: Human security vs state security. New York: Routledge, 2010.
Reardon, Betty. Sexism and the War System. New York: Syracuse University Press, 1996.
Reid, A. Borderland: A Journey Through the History of Ukraine. London: Orion Books Ltd., 1985/1997/2003.
Reychler, Luc, and Thania Paffenholz, . Peacebuilding: A Field Guide. Lynne Reinner Publishers, 2001.
Richardson, L. Statistics of Deadly Quarrels. Pittsburgh: Boxwood, 1960.
Richmond, Oliver P. "After Liberal Peace: The Changing Concept of Peacebuilding." RSIS Commentary, December 2015.
Rothman, J., and M. L. Olson. "From interests to idenitities: Towards a new emphasis in interactive conflict resolution." Journal of Peace Research (Sage) 38, no. 3 (2001): 289 ff.
Schwerin, Edward, W. Mediation, Citizen Empowerment, and Transformational Politics. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1995.
Simpson, Erica. "The Contributions of Anatol Rapoport to Game Theory." Political Science Publication Paper 135 (2016).
Sinclair, Raven, M. A. Hart, and G. Bruyere, . Wicihitowin: Aboriginal Social Work in Canada. Winnipeg, MB: Fernwood Publishing, 2009.
Sjoberg, Laura, ed. Gender and International Development. Lanham: Routledge, 2010.
Staub, E. The Roots of Evil: Theories of Genocide and Other Group Violence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Sylvester, Christine. Feminist International Relations: An Unfinished Journey. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Tuso, Hamdesa, and Maureen Flaherty, . Creating the Third Force: Indigenous Processes of Peacemaking. Lanham: Lexington: Rowman and Littlefield, 2016.
United Nations Centre for Human Rigts. Teaching and learning about human rights: A manual for schools of social work and the social work profession. New York: United Nations, 1992.
United Nations Development Program. "About Human Development." United Nations Development Program. 2015. http//hdr.undp.org/en/humandev/ (accessed March 8, 2017).
United Nations Human Security Unit. "Human Security in Theory and Practice: An Overview of the Human Security Concept and the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security." un.org. United Nations. 2009. www.un.org/humansecurity/sites/www.un.org.humansecurity/files/human_security_in_theory_and_practic e_english.pdf (accessed February 17, 2017).
United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office. "Peacebuilding and the United Nations."un.org. United Nations. 2016. www.un.org/en/peacebuilding/pbso/pbun.shtml (accessed February 17, 2017).
University of Manitoba. Faculty of Social Work. 2016. https://umanitoba.ca/student/admissions/programs/social-work.html (accessed March 14, 2017).
University of Notre Dame. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. 2012. www.croc.nd.edu/aboutus/what-peace-studies (accessed March 14, 2017).
University of Toronto. Social Work. 2013. https://www.sgs.utoronto.ca/prospectivestudents/Pages/Programs/Social-Work (accessed March 14, 2016).
University of Waterloo. Peace and Conflict Studies. n.d. https://uwaterloo.ca/peace-conflict-studies (accessed March 14, 2017).
Van Tongeren, P., M. Brenk, M. Hellema, and J. Verhoeven. People Building Peace II: Successful Stories of Civil Society (Project of the European Centre for Conflict Prevention). Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2005.
Weber, Max. The Theory of Social and Economic Organization. New York: Free Press, 1947.
Wright, Quincy. The Study of War. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1942.
Zelizer, C. "Trauma Sensitive Peace-building: Lessons for Theory and Practice." Africa Peace and Conflict Journal 1, no. 1 (2008): 81-94.
- There are currently no refbacks.