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Thematic Issue: Vulnerability and the Law

Vulnerability: False Hope for Vulnerable Social Security Clients?


Terry Carney

This article reviews the concept of vulnerability and examines its salience for selected aspects of Australian social security. It argues that vulnerability is a welcome shift from individual to relational thinking, of particular relevance to measurement of deprivation and richer transformations of delivery of welfare services (and access to social and informal support). Vulnerability is a productive analytical lens for better understanding aspects of law and policy, but remains too capacious and ill-defined to provide more than false hope in substantive reform of social security law.

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(2018) 41(3) UNSWLJ 783: