Cashless Welfare Transfers for ‘Vulnerable’ Welfare Recipients: Law, Ethics and Vulnerability

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17 Citations (Scopus)


This article aims to contribute to literature on the conceptualisation of ‘vulnerability’ and its use by neo-liberal welfare regimes to demean, stigmatize and responsibilize welfare recipients. Several conceptions of ‘vulnerability’ will be explored and utilised in the context of welfare reforms that purport to regulate social security recipients as highly risky ‘vulnerable’ subjects. However, as this article will make clear, ‘vulnerability’ is a somewhat slippery concept and one susceptible to abuse by powerful interests intent on increasing coercive surveillance, discipline and disentitlement for those designated as ‘vulnerable’. Legislation enacted ostensibly to address the ‘vulnerability’ of welfare recipients can foster intensive regulation and it must be asked who benefits most from such arrangements and the rhetoric that supports them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalFeminist Legal Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


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