Professor Vasilios Ioakimidis

School of Health and Social Care
Professor Vasilios Ioakimidis



I am the Founding Professor of Social Work, founder and former Director of the Centre for Social Work (now known as 'Social Work and Social Justice Divison'). In the past, I have worked at Durham University, the University of Nicosia- Cyprus, Zuyd University- Netherlands and Liverpool University. I qualified as a social worker in Greece and completed my PhD at the University of Liverpool. ​ Since 2017, I have been the Chair of the Global Education Commission of the International Federation of Social Workers. Through this role, I work closley with social work educators and practitioners internationally, towards developing, updating and implementing the Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training. I currently co-edit the British Journal of Social Work (Oxford University Press and BASW) and act as a steering committee member of the Social Work Action Network (SWAN), a radical social work organization that brings together social work practitioners, service users, academics and students united in their commitment to promote social justice and defend welfare rights. Most of my research revolves around the broad theme of Social Work in Extremis, an exploration of social work practice in the context of unpredictable and extraordinary political, social, economic, and environmental change. Social Work, a socially constructed and politically shaped activity, has been subjected to the same contradictions, changes and challenges as society itself. Despite the simplified mainstream narratives, it is important to appreciate that the evolution of social work has been dialectic and not linear; internal and externall to the profession contradictions and tensions constantly shape its nature. The most defining and fundamental tension is this between the "social care and social control dimensions of the profession. The overall question I have been trying to answer through my research is "how does our existing knowledge of social work evolve when established limits and well-defined boundaries are stretched towards the ‘unknown’. How would our current understanding of social work change if prevailing parameters were pushed to extremity”. Two specific areas have, so far, attracted my research attention: a) social work practice in times of conflict (historical and current) and b) grassroots welfare movements in the context of extraordinary financial and political crises. Geographically, I have primarily focused on the regions of Southern Europe and Latin America. My epistemological approach is influenced by critical social theory and my overall view on social work follows a radical analysis.

Research and professional activities

Conferences and presentations

Confronting Social Wok’s persistent global challenges in a world “out of joint”

Invited presentation, Keynote presentation, Global Social Work after the pandemic. Rethinking the profession., Puerto Rico, 12/11/2021

Continuing the Conversation: The IASW response to the report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

Invited presentation, Revitalising child protection and welfare social work: innovations, hope, and community, Cork, Ireland, 22/10/2021

Keynote presentation title: Social Work, violence and resistance; a tale of two professions.

Invited presentation, Keynote presentation, Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development 2018, Convention Centre Dublin, Dublin, Ireland, 6/7/2018


Journal articles (28)

Dedotsi, S., Ioakimidis, V. and Teloni, D-D., La crisis de los Refugiados en Grecia: El desarrollo del racism. Respuestas antirracistas e implicaciones para el Trabajo Social. Comunitania. Revista Internacional de Trabajo Social y Ciencias Sociales (17), 59-59

Ioakimidis, V., Reflexões sobre a história. Libertas. 19 (02), 270-285

Ioakimidis, V., Trabajo social en el contexto neoliberal global: solidaridad y resistencia desde una perspectiva radical. Propuestas Críticas en Trabajo Social - Critical Proposals in Social Work. 1 (1), 28-28

Ioakimidis, V., Neocleous, G., Zachariades, A., Ozada, A. and Erzeybek, B., (2021). ‘Educating for peace’: conflict, division and social work education in Cyprus. European Journal of Social Work, 1-12

Ioakimidis, V. and Maglajlic, RA., (2021). Post-Pandemic Recovery Requires ‘More and Better’ Mental Health Services. The British Journal of Social Work. 51 (3), 791-793

Ana Maglajlic, R. and Ioakimidis, V., (2021). The Deliberately Silenced and the Preferably Unheard—Participation, Power and Knowledge Creation in Social Work Learning, Doing, and Research. The British Journal of Social Work. 51 (2), 385-388

Ioakimidis, V. and Maglajlic, RA., (2021). Time for a Well-Deserved Tribute to Social Work’s Research Resilience and a Call for a Long Overdue Debate. The British Journal of Social Work. 51 (1), 1-2

Maglajlic, RA. and Ioakimidis, V., (2021). Editorial: Safety and Risk, Blame and Change—in Whose Name and with What Consideration of Local, National, and International Contexts of Social Work Practice?. The British Journal of Social Work. 51 (7), 2277-2281

Lavalette, M. and Ioakimidis, V., (2021). The fire last time: the ‘reconceptualisation’ radical social work movement in Latin America (1965‐75). Critical and Radical Social Work. 9 (1), 3-4

Ioakimidis, V. and Sookraj, D., (2021). Global standards for social work education and training. International Social Work. 64 (2), 161-174

Maglajlic, RA. and Ioakimidis, V., (2021). Social Work and the Quest for Environment Justice; a Call to Action. The British Journal of Social Work. 51 (8), 2869-2871

Ioakimidis, V. and Trimikliniotis, N., (2020). Making Sense of Social Work’s Troubled Past: Professional Identity, Collective Memory and the Quest for Historical Justice. The British Journal of Social Work. 50 (6), 1890-1908

Maglajlić, RA. and Ioakimidis, V., (2020). Editorial: New Beginnings and Enduring Concerns—Inequalities, Social Justice and Understanding of Structural Issues in Social Work Practice, Education and Knowledge Production. The British Journal of Social Work. 50 (7), 1937-1941

Ioakimidis, V. and Maglajlic, RA., (2020). Editorial: Black Lives Matter, Biopolitics and the Social Work Response. The British Journal of Social Work. 50 (6), 1647-1651

Campbell, J., Ioakimidis, V. and Maglajlic, RA., (2019). Social work for critical peace: A comparative approach to understanding social work and political conflict. European Journal of Social Work. 66 (2), 1073-1084

Giannou, D. and Ioakimidis, V., (2019). ‘Neither invisible nor abnormal!’ Exploring the invisibility and pathologisation of LGBT people in the Greek National Health System. Critical Social Policy. 40 (3), 370-388

Harrop, D. and Ioakimidis, V., (2018). Practising social work in a ‘stateless state’; an exploration of the views, experiences and practice of children and family social workers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. European Journal of Social Work. 21 (5), 724-736

Ioakimidis, V., (2018). Domesticating radicalism or radicalising domestic politics? A reply to Trimikliniotis. Global Discourse. 8 (2), 321-324

Dominelli, L. and Ioakimidis, V., (2017). The local–global nexus in social work education and practice. International Social Work. 60 (2), 265-270

Lavalette, M. and Ioakimidis, V., (2017). "Popular" Social Work In Extremis: Two case studies on collective welfare responses to social crisis situations. Social theory, Empirics, Policy and Practice. 13 (2016), 117-132

Dominelli, L. and Ioakimidis, V., (2016). The Challenges of Realising Social Justice in 21 st Century Social Work. International Social Work. 59 (6), 693-696

Ioakimidis, V. and Dominelli, L., (2016). The challenges of dignity and worth for all: Social work perspectives. International Social Work. 59 (4), 435-437

Ioakimidis, V., (2015). The two faces of Janus; Rethinking social work in the context of conflict.. Social Dialogue. 10 (10)

Ioakimidis, V., Santos, CC. and Herrero, IM., (2014). Reconceptualizing social work in times of crisis: An examination of the cases of Greece, Spain and Portugal. International Social Work. 57 (4), 285-300

Ioakimidis, V., Maria Ines, M. and Clara, S., (2014). Reconceptualizando el Travajo Social en Europa Del Sur; El retorno de la política “en tiempos de malestares” Servicios Sociales y Política Social. Servicios Sociales y Política Social. 2 (10), 11-24

Martinez Herrero, MI., Ioakimidis, V. and Cruz Santos, C., (2014). Reconceptualizando el trabajo social en Europa del sur: El retorno de la política “en tiempos de malestares”. Servicios Sociales y Política Social. XXXI (106), 11-24

Ioakimidis, V., Martinez-Herrero, I., Yanardağ, U., Farrugia Bennett, C. and Teloni, D., (2013). Austerity and social work in Europe: listening to the voices of resistance. Critical and Radical Social Work. 1 (2), 253-261

Ioakimidis, V., (2011). Expanding imperialism, exporting expertise: International social work and the Greek project, 1946—74. International Social Work. 54 (4), 505-519

Books (4)

Ioakimidis, V., Social Work for Social Justice (in Greek). Ion Publishers

Lavalette, M. and Ioakimidis, V., (2020). Social Work and the COVID-19 Pandemic International Insights. Policy Press. 1447360362. 9781447360360

Ferguson, I., Ioakimidis, V. and Lavalette, M., (2018). Global social work in a political context radical perspectives. Policy Press. 1447322673. 9781447322672

Lavalette, M. and Ioakimidis, V., (2011). Social work in extremis: Lessons for social work internationally. Policy Press. 1847427189. 9781847427182

Book chapters (10)

Ioakimidis, V., Social Work in Global Context – Reflections on a Rapidly Changing Profession. In: Social Work Case Analysis; Global Perspectives. Editors: Lotko, M., . Riga Stradins University Publications

Martinez Herrero, M. and Ioakimidis, V., (2020). Las “historias oscuras” del trabajo social y su importancia desde el enfoque de derechos humanos. In: Los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible desde una perspectiva de los Derechos Humanos, el Trabajo Social y la Comunicación. Editors: Herranz de la Casa, JM. and Gómez Ciriano, EJ., . Tirant lo Blanch. 185- 206. 9788413782089

Ioakimidis, V. and Trimikliniotis, N., (2019). Imperialism, colonialism and a Marxist epistemology of 'critical peace'. In: The Routledge Handbook of Critical Social Work. Editors: Webb, S., . Routledge International Handbooks. 1138578436. 9781138578432

Ioakimidis, V. and Trimikliniotis, N., (2019). Social Work and the Cyprus Problem: The Challenges of Reconciliation in the De Factor Divided and Crisis-Ridden Societies. In: International Perspectives on Social Work and Political Conflict. Editors: Duffy, J., Campbell, J. and Tosone, C., . 1138557307. 9781138557307

Ioakimidis, V. and Dora Dimitra, T., (2019). Reflections on the development, ideology and practice of anti-racist social work in Greece.. In: Anti-Racist Social Work; International Perspectives. Editors: Singh, G. and Masocha, S., . Red Globe Press. 1352008165. 9781352008166

Ioakimidis, V., (2015). Neocolonialism and Social Work. In: International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. Elsevier. 456- 461. 9780080970868

Ioakimidis, V., (2011). Conclusion: Social work in extremis - some general conclusions. In: Social Work in Extremis: Lessons for Social Work Internationally. 167- 171. 9781847427182

Hinestroza, C. and Ioakimidis, V., (2011). In search of emancipatory social work practice in contemporary Colombia: Working with the despalzados in Bogota. In: Social Work in Extremis: Lessons for Social Work Internationally. 81- 92. 9781847427182

Ioakimidis, V., (2011). Welfare under warfare: The Greek struggle for emancipatory social welfare (1940-44). In: Social Work in Extremis: Lessons for Social Work Internationally. 115- 132. 9781847427182

Lavalette, M. and Ioakimidis, V., (2011). International social work or social work internationalism? Radical social work in global perspective. In: Radical Social Work Today: Social Work at the Crossroads. 135- 152. 9781847428172

Reports and Papers (1)

O'Connell, L., Baxter, V., Ioakimidis, V. and Speed, E., The impact of COVID-19 on families and services in Southend

Grants and funding


Exploring opportunities for innovation and impact in improving outcomes for children and families. Mid and South Essex Health Care Partnership (MSEHCP)


Summative Evaluation of the A Better Start Southend programme

Southend Borough Council


NIHR CRN Eastern Social Care Research Readiness Project

National Institute for Health Research

NIHR CRN Eastern Social Care Research Readiness Project

National Institute for Health Research

NIHR CRN Eastern Social Care Research Readiness Project

National Institute for Health Research

Knowledge, Research and Evaluation Strategy - A Better Start Southend


Evaluation of the YMCA project in Southend: 'Our Voice, Our Passions, Our Future'

Southend YMCA

+44 (0) 1702 328284/4285


GB.2.62/ 2S2.5.11, Southend Campus

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