This article reports on qualitative research among 48 social professionals, managers
and policymakers and their perceptions of activating citizenship, social work roles
and responsibilities, carried out in Utrecht and Tartu. Professionals from both countries
agreed to the idea of activating citizenship but stressing the perspective of personalised or
lived citizenship, each person to his own capacities and embedded in the personal context.
Nearly all respondents were critical about the recognition of social workers as a full
profession, about the new management way of steering social work and about cooperation
between different groups of professionals and services. Although both countries have quite
different historical and cultural backgrounds, the authors found many similarities among
social workers regarding their ideas on support, participation and commitment to the
people they work for and work with. International research projects contribute to a more
strongly recognised social work theory and social work practice by getting a better
understanding, in particular of the way social work adapts to different contexts but from a
highly recognisable international discourse within social work.