Critical & Radical Social Work

An International Journal

  • Editors

    Michael Lavalette, Liverpool Hope University and Iain Ferguson, University of the West of Scotland 

  • Frequency

    Three issues per annum: March, August and November

  • ISSN

    2049-8608 (print)

    2049-8675 (online)

Critical and Radical Social Work: An international journal is an exciting new journal that promotes debate and scholarship around a range of engaged social work themes. 

The journal publishes papers which seek to analyse and respond to issues, such as the impact of global neo-liberalism on social welfare; austerity and social work; social work and social movements; social work, inequality and oppression. 

It welcomes contributions that consider and question themes relating to the definition of social work and social work professionalism, that look at ways in which organic and 'indigenous' practice can expand concepts of the social work project and that consider alternative and radical histories of social work activity. As a truly international journal it actively encourages contributions from academics, scholars and practitioners from across the global village.


What people are saying about Critical and Radical Social Work

"Critical and Radical Social Work adds the much needed critical and radical thrusts to contemporary social work literature, dealing with salient social justice, human rights and social development issues in a world increasingly going awry in the face of neoliberalism, new managerialism, unsustainable growth and development, and climate change." Professor Vishanthie Sewpaul (PhD), Zayed University, Dubai

"At a time when social work, both in the UK and internationally, is coming under increasing pressure for its allegiance to refugees and other oppressed and marginalised groups, Critical and Radical Social Work brings together impassioned, evidenced and progressive voices supporting social work's commitment to a social approach and social justice." Peter Beresford, Professor of Citizen Participation at the University of Essex and Emeritus Professor at Brunel University London

"Critical and Radical Social Work provides perspectives that are often missing from mainstream social work publications. It amplifies those voices in the field that are often unheard or ignored." Michael Reisch, Daniel Thursz Distinguished Professor of Social Justice, University of Maryland, US

"A much-needed outlet for social workers to promote innovative and challenging standpoints. The journal stimulates debate and gives voice to those advocating for groups that are relegated to the margins." Linda Briskman, Swinburne Institute for Social Research, Australia

“A great addition to the critical and radical social work literature. Thoroughly recommended.” Steve Rogowski, Social Worker (Children and Families)

“Manifestly innovative, the proposed structure of the journal is likely to contribute in significant ways to the advancement of research, practice and theory in the field of radical and critical social work.”  Norman Duncan, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

“A most eagerly awaited progressive journal. The “critical turn” in social work grew out of a radical track that provided an incisive and eventful confrontation with capital and its state allies. This journal will restore the political and ethical context of social work at a time when it is most needed. It will push boundaries of social work thought and practice. The editors are particularly suited to take this journal and with it social work to new heights of critical and radical engagement.” Stephen Webb, University of Newcastle, Australia

“Social work is increasingly assimilated to power, as allied practices in the systems of governance focused on managing subordinated and marginalized populations. This timely, new journal, edited by prominent critics of this disciplinary regime, could not be more welcomed.” Sanford F. Schram, Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, Bryn Mawr College and Haverford, Pennsylvania
"This journal is particularly timely.  In the current fast paced, revolutionary context, we urgently need a global forum to share the ground-breaking but often invisible work we do at all levels." Elizabeth Whitmore, Carleton University School of Social Work, Ottawa, Canada

Abstracting and Indexing
Critical and Radical Social Work is abstracted in the Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Social Care Online, and ProQuest bibliographical databases.

Policy Press also publishes the Critical and Radical Debates in Social Work series.

Critical and Radical Social Work

Call for Special Issues

Critical and Radical Social Work invites proposals for Special Issues, in the format described below, for consideration by the Editors in early 2018. The deadline for proposal submissions is 15 December 2017.

The Editors will announce their initial decisions on proposals received, and indicate which one has been accepted for development and planned publication in 2019, by 31 March 2018.

What are we looking for in a Critical and Radical Social Work Special Issue?
The aim of a Special Issue is to bring together a set of cutting-edge research articles that develops a specific debate or topic on a theme relevant to the remit of Critical and Radical Social Work. This may include articles presenting theoretical, conceptual and/or empirical material. A Special Issue must be integrated around a common theme, and must take forward scholarly debate. It may be internationally comparative or may focus on one specific region of the world.

How to present a Special Issue proposal for Critical and Radical Social Work
A special issue proposal must include the following information:
  1. Title: This should clearly reflect the field and content of the proposed Special Issue.
  2. Details of guest editor(s): Provide contact details, institutional affiliations, and a short academic profile (of up to 150 words) for each proposed guest editor.
  3. Description: In no more than 500 words, outline the intellectual focus of the proposed Special Issue, how its proposed content engages with significant issues, and the contribution it will make to the field of care and caring.
  4. Draft contents page: This should set out the structure of the Special Issue, listing the titles and authors of each proposed article and stating clearly whether named contributors are already confirmed, or are speculative.
  5. Article abstracts: A 150-word abstract for each article to be included in the collection must be provided. (Special Issues should include an editor(s)’ introduction of approximately 6-8,000 words and 6-8 articles, each of approx. 7,000 - 8,000 words.)
  6. Voices from the Front Line, Pioneers of the Radical Tradition and Book Review articles: Proposers should indicate how they will ensure items relevant to the theme of the Special Issue will be available for these sections of the journal, by suggesting topics for the Voices from the Frontline Line and Pioneers of the Radical Tradition sections (with names/institutions of potential contributors), and listing 2 recently published (or forthcoming) books for review.
  7. Timetable statement: Please include your timetable for initial submission, review, re-submission, copy-editing, etc. This may also include ideas for reviewers or meetings. As a guide, we would expect initial submission of full-length articles in October 2017 to be ready for publication in November 2019.
  8. Maximising impact: Please consider how you intend to promote and disseminate the Special Issue (blogs, events, conferences, other social media, etc.). An editorial statement outlining ten useful ‘top tips for impact’ is available at -

How will proposals be assessed?
CRSW’s Editors will review all proposals received and make decisions based on the following criteria:

1) International appeal
This is vital given the focus of the journal.

2) Intellectual significance, originality and rigour
  • Does the proposal seek to challenge dominant assumptions?
  • Will it set the agenda in terms of future debates?
  • Does it have novel, timely or innovative dimensions?
  • Does it aim to fill a significant gap in the current literature?
3) Profile of contributors
Critical and Radical Social Work is committed to supporting scholars from all backgrounds, disciplines and parts of the world. Proposals which include a mix of established scholars and ‘rising stars’, and those which are internationally inclusive are particularly welcome.

4) Editorial leadership
  • Are the proposed guest editors experts in the field?
  • Do they have a track record in producing cutting-edge research?
  • Is the timetable realistic?
  • Do the editors of the Special Issue intend to play a proactive role in steering and managing the development of the Special Issue?
  • Do they have the time and capacity to dedicate the required level of attention to this project?

The Editorial Process
If a proposal is accepted, a clear time-line will be established in agreement with the editors.

The guest editor(s) will normally manage the process of:
a) Initially considering papers.
b) Identifying reviewers and sending the papers out to review, in consultation with CRSW’s editors, using the journal’s ‘Editorial Manager’ system (training for this will be provided).
c) Communicating reviewers’ comments to the authors.
d) Deciding whether revised papers need to be reviewed again.e) Making a provisional decision to accept or reject.

One of the CRSW Editors will work closely with the guest editor/s in a supportive manner. The Editors will aim to publish the Special Issue according to the original agreed timeline, but proposers should note, and inform all potential contributors, that CRSW’s Editors may decide to:
  • Run the Special Issue in a later issue than originally planned.
  • Accept only some of the papers and put them instead in a Themed Issue, which also includes papers from elsewhere.
  • Accept only one or two papers and present them as regular contributions to the journal.
  • Determine that none of the papers meets the quality standards or targeted content of the journal.
Informal queries prior to submission of a proposal may be sent to the Editors at: and

Michael Lavalette and Iain Ferguson, Co-Editors, Critical and Radical Social Work

Management Board

Michael Lavalette, Co-Editor, Liverpool Hope University, UK
Iain Ferguson, Co-Editor, University of the West of Scotland, UK

Kerry Cuskelly, Voices from the Frontline Editor, SWAN Ireland, Ireland
Natalia Farmer, Social Media Editor, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK
Jane Fenton, Book Review Editor, University of Dundee, UK
Joe Greener, Book Review Editor, Liverpool Hope University, UK
Lee Humber, Ruskin College Oxford, UK
Victoria Jupp-Kina, University of Dundee, UK
Rea Maglajlic, University of Sussex, UK
Rich Moth, Pioneers of the Radical Tradition Editor, Liverpool Hope University, UK
Michael Reisch, North American Editor, University of Maryland, USA
Guy Shennan, The British Association of Social Workers, UK
Linda Smith, Chair of the Board, Robert Gordon University, UK
Helen Spandler, Pioneers of the Radical Tradition Editor, University of Central Lancashire, UK
Julia Mortimer, Publisher, Policy Press, UK

Editorial Advisory Board

Dr Mark Baldwin, University of Bath, UK
Professor Elaine Behring, Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ), Brazil
Professor Peter Beresford, Brunel University, UK
Professor Francisco Branco, Catholic University of Lisbon, Portugal
Dr Leung Chi-yuen, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Dr Suzanne Dudziak, St Thomas University Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
Dr Paul Michael Garrett, NUI Galway, Republic of Ireland
Professor John Harris, University of Warwick, UK
Professor Dr Bernhard Haupert, Catholic University of Applied Sciences, Mainz, Germany
Dr Vasilios Ioakimidis, University of Durham, UK
Fumihito Ito, Associate Professor, Nihon Fukushi University, Japan
Dr Sandra Joseph, Stella Maris College, Chennai, India
Professor Jerzy Krzyszkowski, University of Lodz, Poland
Dr Sahar Makhamreh, Al-Balqa Applied University of Jordan, Jordan
Professor Dr Susan Maurer, University of Marburg, Germany
Dr Anna Metteri, University of Tampere, Finland
Laura Penketh, Liverpool Hope University, UK
Professor Sigrid Schilling, Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz, Hochschule fur Soziale Arbeit (HAS FHNW), Basle, Switzerland
Dr Gurnam Singh, University of Coventry, UK
Dr Anne-Margrethe Sonneland, Diakonhjemmet, Oslo, Norway
Dexter Whitfield, Flinders University, Australia
Professor Bessa Whitmore, Carlton University, Canada
Bob Williams, Disabled People Against the Cuts, UK
Professor Charlotte Williams, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
Dr Jelka Zorn, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

What are we looking for?
How to submit
Copyright and permissions
English Language Editing Service
Open Access
Self-archiving and institutional repositories

How to maximise the impact of your article (PDF)
Contact us

What are we looking for?

Critical and Radical Social Work publishes papers which seek to analyse and respond to issues, such as the impact of global neo-liberalism on social welfare; austerity and social work; social work and social movements; social work, inequality and oppression. It welcomes contributions that consider and question themes relating to the definition of social work and social work professionalism, that look at ways in which organic and 'indigenous' practice can expand concepts of the social work project and that consider alternative and radical histories of social work activity. As a truly international journal it actively encourages contributions from academics, scholars and practitioners from across the global village.

The following types of submissions are welcome:

  • Academic articles: between 6000 and 8000 words, including abstract (150 words maximum), notes, tables, figures and references. Articles should seek to analyse and respond to issues, such as the impact of global neoliberalism on social welfare; austerity and social work; social work and social movements; social work, inequality and oppression. Contributions are welcome that consider and question themes relating to the definition of social work and social work professionalism, that look at ways in which organic and ‘indigenous’ practice can expand concepts of the social work project and that consider alternative and radical histories of social work activity.
  • Commentaries: 4000 words including abstract (75 words maximum) and references. Commentary on policy developments/struggles and social movement activity.
  • Voices from the front line: 2000-4000 words, including references. Articles which address the experience of front line workers and service users. Please also see our Voices from the frontline author guidelines.
  • Pioneers of the radical tradition: 5000-6000 words. Articles that look at the life, times and practice of various radical pioneers.
  • Book reviews: for information on how to submit a book review please contact the Book Review Editor, Jane Fenton:

All articles are refereed to assess their suitability for publication.

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How to Submit

All submissions should be made online at the Critical and Radical Social Work Editorial Manager website:

For help submitting an article via Editorial Manager, please view our online tutorial.

Editorial Manager

Manuscripts must be in Word or Rich Text Format (not pdf). New users should first create an account, specify their areas of interest and provide full contact details. In the course of your online submission you will be asked to provide a plain language summary of the paper (optional) which will be transmitted to Kudos on article acceptance. Kudos is an online platform dedicated to helping authors maximise the impact of their research (Find out more).


Submissions must be completely anonymised and uploaded without preliminary details, such as title, author, affiliations, abstract or keywords in the text file. Author and study names should be removed in order to anonymise, as should any acknowledgements or conflicts of interest which would identify the authors. References to the authors’ own work should be anonymised as follows: ‘Author’s own (year of publication)’. Please note, submissions that in the opinion of the editors have not been sufficiently anonymised will be returned to the authors.

Once a submission has been conditionally accepted, the authors will be invited to submit a final, non-anonymised version.

Checklist: what to include in your final non-anonymised manuscript:

  1. Article Title;
  2. Abstract: no longer than 150 words, outlining the central question, approach/method, findings and argument;
  3. Keywords;
  4. Article main body, including notes and references;
  5. Funding details: list any funding including the grant numbers you have received for the research covered in your article as follows: ‘This work was supported by the [Funding Agency] under Grant [number xxxx].’
  6. Conflict of interest statement: please declare any possible conflicts of interest, or state ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’ if there are none (See the Policy Press ethical guidelines for futher information about declaring conflicts of interest).
  7. Acknowledgements: acknowledge people who have provided you with any substantial assistance or advice with collecting the data, developing your ideas, editing or any other comments to develop your argument or text.
  8. Figures and Tables: should be submitted as separate files. Figures should ideally be in an Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) file format. Please indicate where figures and tables should be placed in the text by inserting: ‘Figure/Table X here’ and provide numbers, titles and sources (where appropriate).

All authors should comply with the Policy Press ethical guidelines.

Editorial Review Process

All submissions will be subject to anonymous peer-review processes (unless stated otherwise) by referees currently working in the appropriate field. The editors aim to provide quick decisions and to ensure that submission to publication takes the minimum possible time. The final decision on publication rests with the managing editors. 

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Copyright & Permissions

Articles are considered for publication on the understanding that on acceptance the entire copyright shall pass to Policy Press as publisher of Critical and Radical Social Work. Authors will be asked to sign a copyright agreement to this effect. All authors should agree to the copyright assignment. For jointly authored articles the corresponding author may sign on behalf of co-authors provided that s/he has obtained their consent for copyright assignment. When submitting online, the copyright assignment agreement is considered to be signed when the corresponding author checks the relevant box. The copyright assignment agreement can be read here.

Where copyright is not owned by the author(s), the corresponding author is responsible for obtaining the consent of the copyright holder. This includes figures, tables, and excerpts. Evidence of this permission should be provided to Policy Press.

General information on rights and permissions can be found here:

To request permission to reproduce any part of articles published in Critical and Radical Social Work please email Policy Press: For information on what is permissible use for different versions of your article please see our policy on self archiving and institutional repositories.

Please also read our Journals Editorial Policies and Ethical Guidelines.

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  • British English spelling and punctuation is preferred.
  • Non-discriminatory language is mandatory.
  • Explanatory notes should be kept to a minimum. If it is necessary to use them, they must be numbered consecutively in the text and listed at the end of the article. Please do not embed notes in the text.
  • Please do not embed bibliographic references in the text, footnotes, live links or macros; the final submitted file should be clear of track changes and ready for print.
  • Tables and charts should be separated from the text and submitted in a Word or Excel file, with their placement in the text clearly indicated by inserting: ‘Table X here’. Please provide numbers, titles and sources (where appropriate).
  • Figures, diagrams and maps should be separated from the text and, ideally, submitted in an 
  • Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) file. Figures created in Word or Excel are acceptable in those file formats. If the figures, diagrams and maps are in other formats (i.e. have been pasted into a Word file rather than created in it) please contact for advice. Please indicate where figures should be placed in the text, by inserting: ‘Figure X here’ and provide numbers, titles and sources (where appropriate).
  • Further guidance may be found in Policy Press editorial guidelines
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A custom version of the Harvard system of referencing is used:

  • In-text citations: give the author’s surname followed by year of publication in brackets
  • List all references in full at the end of the article and remove any references not cited in the text
  • Book and journal titles should be in italics
  • Website details should be placed at the end of the reference. Do not include dates of access to websites
  • Spell out all acronyms in first instance.


Example of book reference

Dorling, D, 2010, Injustice: Why social inequality persists, Bristol: Policy Press


Example of journal reference

Warin, P, 2012, Non-demand for social rights: A new challenge for social action in France, Journal of Poverty and Social Justice 20, 1, 41–53


Example of chapter within edited / multi-authored publication

Levitas, R, 2011, Utopia calling: Eradicating child poverty in the United Kingdom and beyond, in A. Minujin and S. Nandy (eds) Global child poverty and well-being: Measurement, concepts, policy and action, Bristol: Policy Press, 449–73


Example of website reference

House of Commons Debates, 2010, Work and pensions (CSR), Hansard, 4 November, col 337WH,

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English Language Editing Service

Policy Press collaborates with Enago to provide Academic English editing and translation services to help authors get their manuscript submission-ready. A special 20% discount is available for all Policy Press authors. Find out more at:

Contact Us

If you have queries regarding the submission process, please email the Critical and Radical Social Work editorial office for assistance:

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