1st Edition

Embracing Vulnerability The Challenges and Implications for Law

Edited By Daniel Bedford, Jonathan Herring Copyright 2020
    206 Pages
    by Routledge

    206 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book brings together legal scholars engaging with vulnerability theory to explore the implications and challenges for law of understanding vulnerability as generative and a source of connection and development.

    The book is structured into five sections that cover fields of law where there is already significant recourse to the concept of vulnerability. These sections include a main chapter by a legal theorist who has previously examined the creative potential of vulnerability and responses from scholars working in the same field. This is designed to draw out some of the central debates concerning how vulnerability is conceptualised in law.

    Several contributors highlight the need to re-focus on some of these more positive aspects of vulnerability to counter the way law is being used enable persons to escape the stigma associated with vulnerability by concealing that condition. They seek to explore how law might embrace vulnerability, rather than conceal it. The book also includes contributions that seek to bring vulnerability into a non-binary relationship with other core legal concepts, such as autonomy and dignity. Rather than discarding these legal concepts in favour of vulnerability, these contributions highlight how vulnerability can be entwined with relational autonomy and embodied dignity.

    This book is essential reading for both students studying legal theory and practitioners interested in vulnerability.

    Introduction: Vulnerability Refigured

    Daniel Bedford

    Part 1: Family and Child Law

    Family Law’s Instincts and the Relational Subject

    Alison Diduck

    Response: Reflections on ‘Family Law’s Instincts’: law’s varied Relationship with the vulnerabilities of family law’s children

    Jo Bridgeman

    Part 2: Law and Ageing

    Ageing and Universal Beneficial Vulnerability

    Jonathan Herring

    Response: Reflections on Ageing and the Binaries of Vulnerability

    Rosie Harding

    Part 3: Healthcare Law

    The Idea of Vulnerability in Healthcare Law and Ethics: From the Margins to the Mainstream?

    Mary Neal

    Response: Challenging the Frames of Health Care Law

    Beverley Clough

    Part 4: Labour Law

    The Potential and Limitations of the Vulnerability Approach for Labour Law

    Lisa Rodgers

    Response: Vulnerability and Labour Law: On the Transition from Theory to Practice

    Nicole Busby

    Part 5: Human Rights Law

    Embracing Vulnerability: Towards Human Rights for a More-Than-Human World

    Anna Grear

    Response: On Some Problems with Rights

    Fiona De Londras


    Dr Daniel Bedford, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Portsmouth.

    Jonathan Herring, DW Wolfe-Clarendon Fellow in Law at Exeter College, Oxford University and Professor of Law at the Law Faculty, Oxford University.