Allgemeines Projekt

Social Workers Holding Political Office (Publication)

This edited volume brings together contributions from different countries on social workers in elected political office and aims to explore why, how and to what extent social workers contribute their professional expertise to formal political processes as members of parliament and government.

The influence of social workers on social policy is an emerging area of research. This is particularly true of social workers' policy practice, i.e. their political engagement as part of their work. However, another important form of policy engagement has received little attention: social workers holding elected political office. As a result, we know very little about social workers' motivations for running for political office, the skills they bring to politics, or their goals in policy making. Nor do we know much about their career patterns: how they are recruited, how long they stay in politics, what leadership positions they hold, or what happens when their political careers end. This book aims to explore this area of research in a systematic and comparative way. Based on a common conceptual framework set out in the introductory chapter, distinguished country experts provide detailed empirical accounts of how, to what extent and to what end social workers are actively engaged in electoral politics in a wide range of liberal democracies. There are country chapters on Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The final chapter identifies key similarities and differences between the cases and discusses possible explanations.


The working title of this volume is “Social Workers Holding Political Office: Career Patterns, Political Professionalization and Social Advocacy”. The book will be published by Policy Press in the Social Work Research series in summer 2025.

Laufzeit: 01.12.2022 - 31.12.2025