Professor Vasilios Ioakimidis

School of Health and Social Care
Professor Vasilios Ioakimidis



I am the Founding Professor of Social Work and Director of the Centre for Social Work. 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. ​ Moreover, through my role as the co-commissioner for Education in the International Federation of Social Workers, I am collaborating with social work educators and practitioners internationally towards the re-definition of and re-engagement with the meaning of "internationalism" among and beyond the social work community. ​ I am a founding member and member of steering committee of the Social Work Action Network (SWAN), a radical social work organization which brings together social work practitioners, service users, academics and students united in their commitment to promote social justice and defend welfare rights. I feel very privileged and I take great pleasure in editing the oldest and most widely read social work journal, the International Social Work journal (Sage). I am also involved in another very special publishing project that attempts to give voice to the most politically progressive voices in the social work; the Critical and Radical Social Work Journal (Policy Press). I have been part of this journal's editorial board since its creation. 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 crisis. 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

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 (14)

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. 22 (6), 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, 026101831984018-026101831984018

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

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

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

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

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

Lavalette, M. and Ioakimidis, V., (2016). "Popular" Social Work In Extremis: Two case studies on collective welfare responses to social crisis situations. Social theory, Empirics, Policy and Practice. 13 (2), 139-150

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

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

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

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 (2)

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 (5)

Ioakimidis, V., (2015). Neocolonialism and Social Work. In: International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. Elsevier. 456- 461. 9780080970875

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

+44 (0) 1702 328284/4285


GB.2.62/ 2S2.5.11, Southend Campus

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