Michael Reisch

Michael ReischMichael Reisch, Daniel Thursz Distinguished Professor of Social Justice

Michael Reisch, PhD, is the Daniel Thursz Distinguished Professor of Social Justice at the University of Maryland and one of the leading and most respected social work scholars and educators in the U.S.  He has held faculty and administrative positions at the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania, San Francisco State University, and SUNY Stony Brook, and has been a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley (3 times), the New Bulgarian University in Sofia, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

A former Woodrow Wilson Fellow and Fulbright Senior Scholar, Professor Reisch is the author or editor of nearly 30 books and monographs, over 100 articles and book chapters, and over 400 papers at state, national, and international conferences.  His most recent books include Social Policy and Social Justice (3rd ed., Cognella Academic Publishing), Macro Social Work Practice: Working for Change in a Multicultural Society (Cognella Academic Publishing), The Routledge International Handbook of Social Justice (Routledge), The Handbook of Community Practice (Sage), and Social Work Practice and Social Justice: Concepts, Challenges, and Strategies (Oxford University Press). His work has been translated into 10 languages and he has lectured widely in Asia, Australia, Europe, and Latin America. He is currently on the editorial boards of five professional journals. 

Professor Reisch has also played a leadership role in advocacy, professional, and social change organizations that focused on issues of poverty and inequality, particularly as they affect low-income children and families, welfare recipients, immigrants and refugees, and unemployed or homeless persons.  He has directed or consulted on political campaigns at the federal, state, and local levels in four states and has been honored for his advocacy work by the Maryland General Assembly, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the National Association of Social Workers, and several nonprofit organizations and universities.  In 2013, he received the “Social Work Educator of the Year” award from the Maryland Chapter of NASW.  In October 2014, he received both the “Teacher of the Year” award from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the Significant Lifetime Achievement award from the Council on Social Work Education. In January 2017, Dr. Reisch was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

Professor Reisch teaches courses in the MSW program on social policy, macro practice, social justice, and social work values and ethics, and courses on social theory in the PhD program.

Contact Information:
Phone: (410) 706.5088
E-mail: mreisch@ssw.umaryland.edu
Room: 3W02
Reisch CV

Mailing Information:
UM School of Social Work
525 West Redwood Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201


MSW, Hunter College
MA; PhD, SUNY-Binghamton
MA, University of Pennsylvania
BA, New York University


Expertise and Research Interests

Social Justice
Poverty and Inequality
Social Welfare Policy
Policy Advocacy
International Social Welfare


Recent Publications

Reisch, M., & Gutierrez, L.M. (eds.) (2017, in press). “Community Practice in an Increasingly Diverse Society: Essays in Memory of Dr. Felix Rivera.” Special issue of the Journal of Community Practice.

Reisch, M. (2017). Macro Social Work Practice in a Multicultural Society. San Diego, CA: Cognella Academic Publishing.

Reisch, M. (Ed. and author) (2017). Social Policy and Social Justice, 2nd ed. San Diego, CA: Cognella, Inc.

Reisch, M. (2017). Soziale arbeit den USA. (Social work in the U.S.) In H.-U. Otto & H. Thiersch (eds.), Handbuch soziale arbeit, 6th ed. Munich, Germany: Reinhardt.

Reisch, M. (2016). Rethinking poverty. Management Information Exchange Journal, 30(2), 41-48.

Reisch, M. & Garvin, C. (2016). Social Work Practice and Social Justice: Concepts, Challenges, and Strategies, New York: Oxford University Press.

Reisch, M. (2016). Social justice. In R. Hugman & J. Carter (eds.), Ethics in social work (pp. 33-48). London: Palgrave/MacMillan.

Reisch, M. (2016, July). Why macro practice matters. Journal of Social Work Education, 52(3), 1-11.

Reisch, M. (2016, April). Why macro practice matters (editorial). Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership and Governance, 1-4.

Reisch, M. (2015). The importance of recovering a lost tradition in social work. In R. Epple & E. Schar, Spuren einer anderen Sozialen Arbeit: Kritische und politische Sozialarbeit in der Schweiz, 1900-2010. (Traces of Another Social Work: Critical and Political Social Work in Switzerland, 1900-2010). Zurich, Switzerland: Seismo.

Reisch, M. (2015). Legislative advocacy to empower oppressed and vulnerable groups (revised). In K. Corcoran (Ed.), Social Workers’ Desk Reference, 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press.

Philip, D., & Reisch, M. (2015). Rethinking social work's interpretation of ‘environmental justice': From local to global. Social Work Education: An International Journal, 34(5), 471-483. Doi:10.1080/02615479.2015.1063602 (Named “Best Conceptual Paper of 2015”)

Reisch, M. (2015). Coalizione o conflitto: Lavoro sociale e classe lavoratrice negli Stati Uniti, (U.S. social work and the working class: Coalition and conflict.) Zapruder, 37, (Odradek, Rome), 40-57.

Reisch, M. (2015). History of social work and social welfare, 1980-2014. In E. J. Mullen (ed.), Oxford Bibliographies in Social Work. New York: Oxford University Press.

Reisch, M. (2014). Ethical implications of the Affordable Care Act. In W.J. Spitzer (ed.), Social Work and Health Care Ethics: 2014. Petersburg, VA: Dietz Press.

Reisch, M. (Ed. and author) (2014). The Routledge International Handbook of Social Justice. London: Routledge.

Reisch, M. (2014). The boundaries of justice: Addressing the conflict between human rights and multiculturalism in social work practice and education. In K. Libal, L. Healy, M. Berthold, & R. Thomas (eds.), Advancing Human Rights in Social Work Education (pp. 177-195). Alexandria, VA: Council on Social Work Education.

Reisch, M. (2014). Ethical practice in an unethical environment. In S. Banks, Ethics (pp. 45-49). Bristol, UK: Policy Press.

Reisch, M. (2013). Not by the numbers alone: The effects of economic and demographic changes on social policy. In I. Colby, K. Sowers, & C. Dulmus (Eds.), Social Welfare Policy: A Foundation of Social Work. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing.

Reisch, M. (2013). Social work education and the neoliberal challenge: The U.S. response to increasing global inequality. Social Work Education, 32(6), 217-233.

Reisch, M. (2013). Soziale arbeit den USA. (Social work in the U.S.) In H.-U. Otto & H. Thiersch (eds.), Handbuch soziale arbeit, revised ed. Munich, Germany: Reinhardt.

Reisch, M. (2013). What is the future of social work? Critical and Radical Social Work, 1(1), 67-85.

Weil, M., Reisch, M., & Ohmer, M. (Eds. and authors) (2012). Handbook of Community Practice, 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Reisch, M. (2012). Community intervention. In C. Glisson, C.N. Dulmus, & K.M. Sowers (Eds.), Social Work Practice with Groups, Communities, and Organizations: A Foundation of Social Work. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing.

Reisch, M. (2012). The challenges of health care reform for hospital social work in the U.S. Social Work in Health Care, 51(10), 873-893. (Also published online in The Economics of Health Care (2014). London: Routledge.)

Reisch, M., & Jani, J.S. (2012). The new politics of social work practice: Understanding context to promote change. British Journal of Social Work, 42(6), 1132-1150.