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‘Educating for peace’: conflict, division and social work education in Cyprus

Ioakimidis, Vasilios and Neocleous, Gregory and Zachariades, Agamemnonas and Ozada, Ayşe and Erzeybek, Buse (2022) '‘Educating for peace’: conflict, division and social work education in Cyprus.' European Journal of Social Work, 25 (4). pp. 696-707. ISSN 1369-1457

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Social work practice and training in the context of political and ethnic conflict has seen renewed interest among scholars. Recent research has tried to shift focus away from simplistic interpretations of social work as an unshakably ‘benevolent’ profession. A recent emphasis on social work’s colonial legacies and the structural causes of political violence provide us with important new directions on how to rethink and reshape social work education and practice in these contexts. Cyprus presents a very interesting, yet under-explored, case study as it remains an island de facto divided, along ethnic lines. The division has resulted in the physical and political separation of the two most populous ethnic communities (Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots). United Nations (UN)-sponsored peace talks have gained momentum in recent years. This paper offers the first systematic exploration of the views of social work students across both sides of the divide. Through a mixed-method approach, students were able to express their thoughts and beliefs on ‘the other’ and on social work in the post-conflict realities. The study confirms the contradictory nature of social work education in Cyprus challenges the futility of nationalism and argues for the importance of bi-communal social work partnerships.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political conflict; war; peace; education Cyprus; social work; reconciliation
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 25 May 2021 14:20
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 10:32

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