‘States of change’? One hundred years of the JUC

Viviene E. Cree*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Joint University Council for Social Studies (JUCSS) was formed 100 years ago at the end of the First World War in 1918. Its expressed aim was to coordinate and develop the work of social study departments across the UK, as part of the larger project of post-war reconstruction. In October 2018, an event entitled ‘States of Change?’ was held in London to celebrate this history and to explore what, if any, kind of future the JUC (as currently constituted) should have. At the event, I gave a short historical presentation that examined social work education’s history in the context of the JUCSS’s origins and development. This paper picks up some of the key ideas from this presentation in more detail. It will be argued that tensions which existed in the formation of the JUCSS in 1918 still exist today, not least because they are emblematic of the ambivalences and complexities that are at the heart of social work and social work education, then and now. Furthermore, it will be suggested that social work as an academic discipline must pay heed to these tensions if it is to survive—and thrive—in the academy today. (192).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1054-1068
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Work Education
Issue number8
Early online date6 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2019


  • gender and social work
  • higher education
  • history of social work
  • JUC
  • profession
  • public administration history
  • social policy history
  • social studies
  • social work education history
  • universities


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