The role of social workers in the development of the welfare state in Greece

Sofia Dedotsi, Alys Young

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The history of welfare in Greece has always reflected the wider socio-political context and has been characterised by unjust policies which promote social divisions. In the present day market-driven criteria have resulted in extensive cuts to welfare services. Reflecting on welfare’s historical evolution and social work’s responses in Greece, this chapter provides insights into the profession’s pivotal position in the formation and maintenance of unjust welfare practices as well as its potential to promote a more just welfare state. It discusses the profession’s limited role in public dialogue and policy making and how in times of oppression social work too has participated in the reproduction of social inequalities. Based on the emancipatory values of the profession, the chapter indicates the urgent need for social work to transform welfare structures and institutions based on anti-oppressive action, an approach not conventionally taught within social work education. Although focussed on the Greek context, the discussion has contemporary relevance for other European or international states too facing legacies of historical injustice and current economic austerity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAusterity, social work and welfare policies
Subtitle of host publicationa global perspective
EditorsAntonio Lopez Pelaez, Emilio Jose Gomez Ciriano
Place of PublicationSpain
PublisherThomson Reuters (Professional)
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9788413096766
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2019


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