Social Work and Countering Violent Extremism in Sweden and the UK

Finch, J., Jönsson, J., Kamali, M. and McKendrick, D. 2019. Social Work and Countering Violent Extremism in Sweden and the UK. European Journal of Social Work.
Authors Finch, J., Jönsson, J., Kamali, M. and McKendrick, D.
Journal European Journal of Social Work
ISSN 1369-1457
Year 2019
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscript LicenseAll rights reservedFile Access LevelAnyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) doi:10.1080/13691457.2019.1657803
Web address (URL)
Online 11 Sep 2019
Accepted 16 Aug 2019
Deposited 12 Sep 2019
Copyright holder © 2019 Taylor & Francis.
Copyright information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in European Journal of Social Work on 11/09/2019, available online:
Abstract/Introduction Social Work in Europe, is now being tasked with managing the “problems” of terrorism, i.e supporting those affected by terrorist attacks, managing returnees affiliated with Terrorist groups in the Middle East, or, as will be discussed here, identifying those at risk from radicalisation and extremism. Both Britain and Sweden have Counter-Terrorism policies, but recent developments in both countries, have made it a statutory requirement for social workers, to work within such policies. This paper seeks to explore the policies in both countries utilising a comparative approach, to consider the similarities in not only policy and practice, but also in the ethical consequences such policies pose for social workers across Europe. The exploration considers; the extent to which anti-radicalisation policies influence social work practices in Sweden and the UK and how they might undermine social work as a human rights profession. The results indicate that anti-radicalisation policies run the risk of reducing social work to become a ‘policing profession’ practicing social control. This has substantial consequences for social work and its global ethics, which should be considered and struggled against by social workers committed to principles of social justice and human rights.

Originally published by London Metropolitan University here.