'It's not dark yet but it's getting there': global crises, social work and resistance

Iain Ferguson*, Michael Lavalette

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In the third decade of the 21st century, we are faced with a host of interconnected crises which threaten the very basis of life on Planet Earth. These include an environmental crisis; a COVID-19 pandemic estimated to have caused more than 15 million deaths worldwide; an ongoing economic crisis; a political crisis, with the growth of far-right parties and governments on a scale not seen since the 1930s; and growing inter-imperialist competition, with the threat of nuclear war now greater than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Employing a Marxist analysis, we argue that the roots of these phenomena lie in global capitalism’s relentless drive for profit at the expense of the environment and life on earth. The central part of the chapter explores the three principal ways in which the social work profession has historically responded to similar challenges – collusion, compliance and resistance – and assesses the contribution that social work today can make in challenging the forces of reaction and in furthering an agenda which foregrounds meeting human need, human rights, the environment and anti-racism, with a particular focus on the new, more radical, networks that have emerged in recent years.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRevolutionary Social Work
Subtitle of host publicationPromoting Systemic Changes
EditorsMasoud Kamali
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781003194842
ISBN (Print)9781032048406
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2022


Dive into the research topics of ''It's not dark yet but it's getting there': global crises, social work and resistance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this