The theme of the tenth edition of the Rethinking Social Work (RSW) conference series, to be held on November 4-5 2022, is Poverty and Social Work.

The topic of this year’s conference was shaped with the help of an international advisory board. Our goal is to open to discussion the concept of poverty as well as social policies and social work interventions on poverty through an international and interdisciplinary perspective. Our aim is to put poverty as a concept and phenomenon in the context of the ongoing economic crisis and increasing social inequalities in Turkey. With that goal, the conference will include scholarly studies on poverty and social inequality in Turkey and elsewhere and take a critical look at policy interventions for fighting inequality. The conference will also include a discussion on how transformative social policies can be built and how radical social work can be designed. In the last panel, we will ask social work researchers to assess the discussions at the conference from a social work perspective.

The Rethinking Social Work conferences, organized by a group of social work researchers, practitioners and social scientists, is an interdisciplinary series of meetings held since 2011 and supported by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung’s Turkey Office since the beginning. 

The main goal of the RSW conferences is to create a space for discussion among social work researchers and practitioners in light of developments in Turkey and elsewhere in the world. The ninth RSW conference held in 2021 was entitled “Care Work in the Wake of the Pandemic: Crisis, Possibilities and New Solutions.” The eighth conference in 2020, carried out online, was entitled “Social Work in the Rebuilding of the Social in the Wake of the Pandemic.” Over the years, the conference series has attracted many international participants from Germany, Austria, Britain and the US in addition to scholars based in Turkey. Two edited books of essays in Turkish based on presentations from past conferences have been published so far. Another edited book based on contributions at the last two conferences is forthcoming. You may view information on past RWS conferences as well as the edited books  on the following link:

4 November 2022 

Opening Remarks (09:30 – 10:00)

Panel 1 (10:00 – 12:00)

Social Inequalities and Social Policy
Moderator: Prof. Deniz Yükseker, İstanbul Kent University

New Questions in the Age of Inequalities
Prof. Oğuz Işık
, Middle East Technical University (Retired)

The Populist Welfare State Regime and Social Movements
Assoc. Prof. Erdem Yörük
, Koç University

Social Protection and Poverty in Latin America
Prof. Armando Barrientos
, University of Manchester

Lunch (12:00 – 13:00)

Panel 2 (13:00 – 15:00)

The Many Faces of Poverty
Moderator: Yasemin Ahi, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Turkey Office

When Work Is Not Enough: Working Poverty
Prof. Seyhan Erdoğdu
, Ankara University (Retired)

Under Economic Crisis Conditions and towards Elections: States of Poverty, Livelihoods and Solidarity
Şehide Zehra Keleş
, İstanbul Planning Agency

Child Poverty in Times of Crisis
Asst. Prof. Başak Akkan
, İstanbul Bilgi University

Protection from Poverty or Integration with Misery? Observations on the Relationship Between Work, Livelihoods and Social Assistance in Turkey
Asst. Prof. Denizcan Kutlu
, Tekirdağ Namık Kemal University

Break (15:00 – 15:15)

Panel 3 (15:15 – 17:00)

Struggles of the Working Poor and the Unemployed Against the Structures of Poverty
Moderator: Assoc. Prof. İnci Kerestecioğlu, Istanbul University

The Scope and Limits of Workers’ Protests in Turkey: The Strike Wave between January and February 2022
Asst. Prof. Alpkan Birelma
, Özyeğin University

The Erosion Brought by Unemployment and the Resistance of the Unemployed
Dr. Esra Kaya Erdoğan
, Yeni Yüzyıl University

The Expansion of Disposable Labor from Citizens to Migrants
Asst. Prof. Sibel Karadağ
, Kadir Has University

5 November 2022 

Panel 4 (10:00 – 12:00)

From the Poverty of Social Work to Radical Social Work
Moderator: Asst. Prof. Poyraz Kolluoğlu, Istanbul Aydın University

Whose Side are We on? Social Work in an Era of Crises
Prof. Iain Ferguson
, University of the West of Scotland

Radical Social Work, Popular Social Work and Social Movements
Prof. Michael Lavalette
, Liverpool Hope University

Why Did Radical Social Work Not Develop in Turkey
Prof. Reyhan Atasü Topçuoğlu
, Hacettepe University

Lunch (12:00 – 13:00)

Panel 5 (13:00 – 15:00)

Climate Crisis and Social Work
Moderator: Prof. Juliane Karakayalı, Protestant University of Applied Sciences, Berlin

Climate Crisis and Social Inequalities: Insights from the Field of Disaster Relief in Germany
Prof. Andrea Schmelz
, Coburg University of Applied Sciences and Prof. Caroline Schmitt, University of Klagenfurt

Radical Social Work, Popular Social Work and Social Movements
Prof. Michael Lavalette
, Liverpool Hope University

Socio-Ecological Justice and Triple Planetary Crisis: Analysing the Concerns of and for Those in Extreme Poverty
Prof. Komalsingh Rambaree
, University of Gävle

Break (12:00 – 13:00)

Panel 6 (15:15 – 17:00)

General Appraisal
Moderator: Assoc. Prof. Neşe Şahin Taşğın, Maltepe University

Prof. Uğur Tekin, Istanbul Kent University
Prof. Kasım Karataş, Hacettepe University
Prof. Işıl Bulut, Başkent University
Dr. Bülent İlik, Başkent University (Retired)

There will be simultaneous translation between Turkish and English throughout the conference.

All conference times are in Turkish time zone (UTC+3)

Place: Nazım Hikmet Kültür ve Sanat Evi Tiyatro Salonu
Darülaceze Cad. No: 9-1/1, Şişli, İstanbul

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Conference Organizing Committee
Prof. Dr. Uğur Tekin, Istanbul Kent University (chair)
Yasemin Ahi, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Turkey Office
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Neşe Şahin Taşğın, Maltepe University
Assoc. Prof. Dr. İnci Özkan Kerestecioğlu, Academician
Asst. Prof. Dr. Poyraz Kolluoğlu, Istanbul Aydın University
Associate Professor Dr. Muharrem Açıkgöz, Gaziantep University
Prof. Dr. Deniz Yükseker, Istanbul Kent University

Scientific Advisory Board:
Juliane Karakayalı, Caroline Schmitt, Mark Hill, Catherine Rottenberg, Jane MacPherson, Başak Akkan, Derya Güler Aydın, Erika Schultze, Reyhan Atasü Topçuoğlu, Nurdane Bürüngüz, Gökçesu Akşit Dudaklı, Hüseyin Özel, Susanne Spindler, Aziz Çelik, Sema Erder, Jo Littler