General information


Given a world confronted with multiple crises, social work is challenged to radicalise its position as a human rights practice. This challenge exposes the interface between social work and legal systems and therefore urges social work research and practice to look critically towards law as a frame of reference. On the one hand, the law can be a leverage for social justice, while on the other hand, the introduction of laws can merely focus on the establishment of order, preservation of power structures, contradicting the respect for diversity and basic humanity. This indicates that social work cannot merely be seen as an implementer of legal rules, or that the reference to human rights can be reduced to listening to the voice of so called good (resilient) citizens. As several legal systems (such as child protection, general welfare, criminal justice) are a vital part of client’s social environment as well as society, social work has a duty to approach human rights as a leverage to bring in “disruptive” voices. Human rights can function as an instrument to go beyond empathy and order, and to offer a platform for advocacy of those who are not seen as having a voice, or whose voices disturb the status quo. Examples given are the voices of homeless people, people with disabilities, refugees, prisoners, etc… In order to address this challenge, TiSSA invites experts from academic social work research, professional fields and policy to the TiSSA 2023 conference in Osijek, Croatia, to discuss the development of social work research and practice as an advocate for bringing in disruptive voices.


PhD - Pre Conference

When: August 25 - August 27, 2023

For who: doctoral candidates

Abstract: max. 4000 characters, including introduction to research question(s), methodological framework, results, brief discussion and questions for supervisory panel.

Participation: only when your abstract is accepted

Deadline for submission extended: April 24, 2023

Registration and payment


The PhD - Pre Conference provides a unique opportunity for doctoral candidates who conduct research in the overall field of social services and related social problems to present their results or work in progress. A board of professors of international standing will form a panel to comment on the presentations and will be available for any further guidance. The Pre-PhD Conference therefore offers a very valuable and exceptional occasion to engage in comprehensive networking with colleagues from other European and non-European countries. Important to emphasize is that the Pre-PhD Conference only accessible for doctoral candidates and is open for broad topics concerning social work that are not directly linked to the central topic of this years' conference. Presentations will be limited to maximum 20 minutes. The professors of the 2023 international supervisory panel are listed below:


Prof. Anita Blagojević - University of Osijek (Croatia)
Prof. Lieve Bradt – Ghent University (Belgium)
Prof. Jim Campbell - University College Dublin (Ireland)
Prof. Anna Odrowaz-Coates - Maria Grzegorzewska University (Poland)
Prof. Anna Gupta - Royal Holloway, University of London (United Kingdom)
Prof. Ewa Kantowich - University of Olsztyn (Poland)
Prof. Mladen Knežević – University of Osijek (Croatia)
prof. Nataša Lucić – University of Osijek (Croatia)
prof. Branka Rešetar - University of Osijek (Croatia)
Prof. Griet Roets – Ghent University (Belgium)
Prof. Rudi Roose – Ghent University (Belgium)
Prof. Shachar Timor-Shlevin – Bar Ilan University (Israël)
Prof. Kim Robinson – Deakin University (Australia)
Prof. Martin Wagener -  UCLouvain (Belgium)


Plenum Conference

When: 28 August - 30 August, 2023

For who: academics (researchers, PhD candidates) and non-academics (practitioners, policy makers and students)

Abstract: max. 4000 characters for individual presentations and 8000 characters for symposia

Participation: allowed without submission of abstract

Deadline for submission extended: April 24, 2023

Registration and payment


The TiSSA Plenum Conference  also provides a unique opportunity for academics and non-academics from all over Europe who conduct research in the overall field of social services and related social problems to present their results reflecting practical experiences, empirical research, theoretical concerns and/or examples of resistance, conflict and alternates.


Information about submitting your paper

The 19th TiSSA PhD- Pre and Plenum Conference  accepts both individual papers and symposia submissions. Individual papers will be organized into thematic sessions if possible, and each accepted paper will be allotted 20 minutes for presentation, followed by 10 minutes for audience discussion. Individual paper submissions should include a proposal of no more than 4000 characters or less, outlining the research question(s), methods, results, brief discussion, and implications. Conceptual and theoretical papers do not need to follow this structure and do not require a reference list.


Symposium submissions should include three to four papers on the same topic that will be presented in the same session. The submission should include an overall abstract of 8000 characters or less outlining the symposium theme and its importance, and an abstract of 3000 characters or less for each symposium paper. In the field of ‘Title of the abstract’, please type the title of the symposium. Preference will be given to symposia that demonstrate cohesiveness across presentations and that are strongly linked to the central theme of the conference. Symposia will be accepted or rejected as a whole, not in parts.


Conference venue


Faculty of Law
Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek



Local organising committee

Chair of the local organising committee:  Gordana Horvat


Members of the local organising committee:

Prof. Tunjica Petrašević, Prof. Dunja Duić, Prof. Mladen Knežević, Prof. Anita Blagojević, Prof. Katarina Marošević, Prof. Branka Rešetar, Prof.Nataša Lučić, Snježana Barić Šelmić, Suzana Tomašević, Matko Guštin, Petar Šajfar, Tena Konjević


Students co-organising: Lucija Piskać, Lara Rašić, Ivana Copak, Nikol Bogdan, Luka Pinjušić, Nina Sauerborn, Ivana Kovačević, Dora Blažetin, Marija Kapular, Ljilja Šrepfler, Elizabeta Parać, Nikolina Varga, Matea Novak, Mia Radmanović


Chair of The International Social Work and Society Academy: Prof. Rudi Roose


Secretary of TiSSA: Nele Feryn