Social Work in Russia: between the global and the local
The chapter describes and analyses the main challenges and issues affecting the process of development of social work as a new profession in today’s Russia. At the end of the Soviet Union, the engagement of Russia with the West increased, but still the tensions between Russia and the West exist, and at times these tensions become even stronger. It is of particular interest to explore the specific implications of these relationships for social work. Since social work’s establishment as an occupation and training programme in early 1990s, educators, students, administrators and practitioners have not only implemented several shifts in the national policy agenda but have also addressed various global influences and incorporated them into the local policy context. The development of social work is being shaped by different power relations. Looking at these power relations from three interrelated analytical perspectives- those of actors, institutions and discourses – we will consider the role of international cooperation in the field of social work. We shall refer to the qualitative interviews with social work practitioners and manaters in three social service agencies conducted drign 2011-2012 in Saratov, Russia. These services were chosed because they were a part of international projects.