International travelling knowledge in social work: an analytical framework

Tony Evans, John Harris, Fabian Kessl, S Schnurr, Tor Slettebo, E Brodtkorb, Olga Borodkina

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Social work has a shared international identity, but is also diverse and context-specific. There is increasing interest in the international movement of knowledge into national and local contexts but at present there is little analysis of how and why this happens. Instead of seeing knowledge as ‘transferred’ in a straightforward export-import relationship, attention needs to be paid to how knowledge is assembled, mobilised, circulated, reformulated and reassembled as it travels from one country to another. Drawing on neo-institutionalism, a comprehensive framework is proposed that may serve as a heuristic for researching and analysing international travelling knowledge in social work. It includes nine elements: narratives, routes, barriers, boundaries, filters, providers, shape, roots, issues and topics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-494
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Work
Issue number4
Early online date9 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • social work knowledge
  • knowledge transfer
  • international travelling knowledge
  • neo-institutionalism

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