Governing risk: care and control in contemporary social work

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Drawing on Foucault's later work on governmentality, this book traces the effects of 'the rise of risk' on contemporary social work practice. Focusing on two 'domains' of practice – mental health social work and probation work – it analyses the ways in which risk thinking has affected social work's aims and objectives, methods and approaches. It critically interrogates the claim that the logic of actuarialsim is implicated in a shift from 'care' to 'control' and argues the case for a distinctive approach to understanding and undertaking social work which does justice to the reality of contemporary practice.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages240
ISBN (Electronic)9781137313515
ISBN (Print)9780230364158, 9781349349319
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2014


  • social work
  • youth and criminal justice
  • mental health
  • social work theory

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