International Social Work and Social Welfare: Middle East and North Africa
- LAST REVIEWED: 06 May 2015
- LAST MODIFIED: 30 March 2015
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0082
- LAST REVIEWED: 06 May 2015
- LAST MODIFIED: 30 March 2015
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0082
Social welfare in the twenty-one countries of the Middle East and North Africa has been influenced by local cultural, political, social, and economic traditions, as well as imported models of social welfare. But each country has evolved differently due to distinctive historical, socioeconomic, and demographic factors. This entry focuses primarily on how the ideals of social welfare have been established within these countries throughout the past century. It discusses how various colonial assumptions have blended with the local, and how colonial and postcolonial circumstances have intersected with social welfare by way of geopolitical conflict and interethnic disputes and weakened political institutions and socioeconomic effects related to poverty, inequality, and political repression. This entry examines, first, the economic, social, and political features of social welfare services in different countries at various stages of development. After this, it examines social policy and welfare services and how they are influenced and fostered in different countries. Next it looks at the role of social work and social service education and the relevance of this sector among the different regions. The final section recognizes the trends and challenges facing this sector in an ever-changing world as these countries continue to develop regional models of practice. The focus throughout is on major works in the field, for no one document could cover all of the myriad scholarship that has been published.
The references in this section provide insights into social policy and social welfare issues in the Middle East and North African regions. Al-Krenawi and Graham 2003 presents social work as a Western concept and demonstrates how it has infiltrated these regions as a consequence of colonialism. The authors argue that one of the manifestations of the eighty years of colonial influence in the two regions is the ongoing process of imposing Western models of intervention, which intersect with the local, rendering them unique to the region. The realm of social welfare and policy has also been affected by colonial infiltration. Bayet 2002 explains that the Western-influenced concepts have now become a part of these two regions and points to the constant struggle between traditional political forces and neoliberal ideals. Bush 2004 suggests that there is a neoclassical bias in the study of poverty in the region, but De Soto 2000 takes an alternative look at the origins of poverty in the region, using the city of Cairo, Egypt, as a case study. Barakat 1993 explains Arab cultural perspectives in greater detail, allowing for a better understanding of the role of social work as well as policy in these evolving societies. Iqbal 2006 presents an empirical analysis of the poverty plaguing these regions, calling for stronger governmental representation in the social welfare sector. El-Ghonemy 1998 presents a regional comparison of the successes and failures of Arab welfare systems and explains the differences in wealth distribution among Arab countries.
Barakat, Halim. 1993. The Arab world: Society, culture, and state. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.
Offers a perspective of Arab culture from an Arabic point of view written for a predominantly Western audience. To better understand the role of social work in the Arab world, it is important to understand the society from within.
Bayet, Asef. 2002. Activism and social development in the Middle East. International Journal of Middle East Studies 34:1–28.
Provides a perspective of the current populations of Middle Eastern countries as they struggle between implementing social policy—by combining older traditional regimes—and introducing neoliberal ideas as part of social development as it is a consequence of colonialism.
Bush, Ray. 2004. Poverty and neo-liberal bias in the Middle East and North Africa. Development and Change 35.4: 673–695.
Suggests that there is a neoclassical bias in the dominant literature on poverty in the Middle Eastern and North African region. The author suggests that poverty in the region is not a result of exclusion but rather a consequence of how poor people are differentially incorporated into the economic and political process.
De Soto, Hernando. 2000. The mystery of capital: Why capitalism triumphs in the West and fails everywhere else. New York: Basic Books.
Studies the origins of poverty and the failure of capitalism in third world and former communist countries. Suggests that poverty is maintained in these countries through the inability of the poor to enter economic markets, regardless of owning tradable properties and goods. Cairo, Egypt, is one of several cities examined.
El-Ghonemy, M. Riad. 1998. Affluence and poverty in the Middle East. New York: Routledge.
A regional study of the causes and consequences of wealth distribution in different Arab countries. El-Ghonemy analyzes and compares the impact of government policies and government intervention in social welfare in opposition to the free activity of the market.
Iqbal, Farrakh. 2006. Sustaining gains in poverty reduction and human development in the Middle East and North Africa. Washington, DC: World Bank.
Offers an indication of poverty levels over the last few decades by examining human development indicators. This provides more insight into the obstacles facing the Middle East and North Africa in terms of poverty reduction.
Issawi, Charles. 2005. An economic history of the Middle East and North Africa. New York: Routledge.
A comprehensive economic history of the past two hundred years in the Middle East and North Africa, not just focusing on the changes related to the oil in the region. This book also touches on the Western impact and subsequent decline along with the region’s response.
Al-Krenawi, Alean, and John R. Graham. 2003. Principles of social work practice in the Muslim Arab world. Arab Studies Quarterly 25.4: 75–91.
This introductory article offers a Muslim Arab perspective on the principles of social work while understanding that the principle of social work is primarily a Northern concept and is subsequently a consequence of colonialism.
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- Development and Infancy (Birth to Age Three)
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- Eating Disorders
- Ecological Framework
- Economic Evaluation
- Elder Mistreatment
- End-of-Life Decisions
- Epigenetics for Social Workers
- Ethics and Values in Social Work
- Evidence-based Social Work Practice
- Evidence-based Social Work Practice: Finding Evidence
- Evidence-based Social Work Practice: Issues, Controversies...
- Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs
- Families with Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Parents
- Family Caregiving
- Family Group Conferencing
- Family Policy
- Family Services
- Family Therapy
- Family Violence
- Fathering Among Families Served By Child Welfare
- Field Education
- Financing Health-Care Delivery in the United States
- Forensic Social Work
- Foster Care
- Gay Men
- Generalist Practice and Advanced Generalist Practice
- Group Work
- Group Work across Populations, Challenges, and Settings
- Group Work, Research, Best Practices, and Evidence-based
- Harm Reduction
- Health Care Reform
- Health Disparities
- Health Social Work
- History of Social Work and Social Welfare, 1950-1980
- History of Social Work from 1980-2014
- History of Social Work in China
- History of Social Work in Northern Ireland
- History of Social Work in the Republic of Ireland
- History of Social Work in the United Kingdom
- HIV/AIDS Prevention with Adolescents
- Homelessness Outside the United States
- Human Needs
- Human Trafficking, Victims of
- Immigrant Policy in the United States
- Immigrants and Refugees
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- Impaired Professionals
- Implementation Science and Practice
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- International Social Welfare
- International Social Work
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- Interpersonal Psychotherapy
- Intervention with Traumatized Populations
- Intimate Partner Violence
- Juvenile Justice
- Korean Americans
- Latinos and Latinas
- Law, Social Work and the
- Life Span
- Major Depressive Disorder
- Management and Administration in Social Work
- Maternal Mental Health
- Measurement, Scales, and Indices
- Medical Illness
- Men: Health and Mental Health Care
- Mental Health
- Mental Health Diagnosis and the Addictive Substance Disord...
- Mental Health Needs of Older People, Assessing the
- Mental Illness: Children
- Middle East and North Africa, International Social Work an...
- Military Social Work
- Mixed Methods Research
- Motivational Interviewing
- Native Americans
- Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders
- Neighborhood Social Cohesion
- Neuroscience and Social Work
- Nicotine Dependence
- Occupational Social Work
- Organizational Development and Change
- Pain Management
- Palliative Care
- Parent Training
- Philosophy of Science and Social Work
- Physical Disabilities
- Police Social Work
- Positive Youth Development
- Postmodernism and Social Work
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Practice Interventions and Aging
- Practice Interventions with Adolescents
- Practice Research
- Productive Engagement of Older Adults
- Profession, Social Work
- Psychiatric Rehabilitation
- Psychoanalysis and Psychodynamic Theory
- Psychopathology and Social Work Practice
- Psychopharmacology and Social Work Practice
- Psychosocial Framework
- Psychosocial Intervention with Women
- Qualitative Research
- Race and Racism
- Religiously Affiliated Agencies
- Reproductive Health
- Research Ethics
- Restorative Justice
- Risk Assessment in Child Protection Services
- Risk Management in Social Work
- Rural Social Work Practice
- School Social Work
- School Violence
- School-Based Delinquency Prevention
- Services and Programs for Pregnant and Parenting Youth
- Severe and Persistent Mental Illness: Adults
- Sexual Assault
- Single-System Research Designs
- Social Development
- Social Insurance and Social Justice
- Social Justice and Social Work
- Social Movements
- Social Planning
- Social Policy
- Social Security in the United States (OASDHI)
- Social Work Education and Research
- Social Work Regulation
- Social Work Research Methods
- Solution-Focused Therapy
- Strategic Planning
- Strengths Perspective
- Strengths-Based Models in Social Work
- Survey Research
- Systematic Review Methods
- Task-Centered Practice
- Transdisciplinary Science
- Translational Science and Social Work
- United States, History of Social Welfare in the
- Veteran Services
- Victim Services
- Welfare State Reform in France
- Welfare State Theory
- Women and Macro Social Work Practice
- Women's Health Care
- Work and Family in the German Welfare State
- Working with Non-Voluntary and Mandated Clients
- Young and Adolescent Lesbians
- Youth at Risk
- Youth Services