British Journal of Social Work, Vol. 31, 2001, p. 595-609
The re-emergence of a majority of centre left governments in countries of the European Union was associated with the hope that, after neo-liberal attempts at its marginalisation, social work could regain a more valued position in society.
There are indications that the growth of the profession continues and that social work is returning to a more explicit and official role in national social policies. However this tends to be associated with an expectation that social work would play its part in "activating" the recipients of welfare benefits in the context of the New Left project shifting from social rights to social obligations.