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.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Vulnerability Refigured
Part 1: Family and Child Law
Family Law’s Instincts and the Relational Subject
Response: Reflections on ‘Family Law’s Instincts’: law’s varied Relationship with the vulnerabilities of family law’s children
Part 2: Law and Ageing
Ageing and Universal Beneficial Vulnerability
Response: Reflections on Ageing and the Binaries of Vulnerability
Part 3: Healthcare Law
The Idea of Vulnerability in Healthcare Law and Ethics: From the Margins to the Mainstream?
Response: Challenging the Frames of Health Care Law
Part 4: Labour Law
The Potential and Limitations of the Vulnerability Approach for Labour Law
Response: Vulnerability and Labour Law: On the Transition from Theory to Practice
Part 5: Human Rights Law
Embracing Vulnerability: Towards Human Rights for a More-Than-Human World
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.