Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

The Elder Catch: Engineering the Future of Caregiving

ORCID (Links to author’s additional scholarship at ORCID.org)

Jessica Dixon Weaver: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6960-1459


"This book considers how vulnerability theory provides the basis for a reconceptualization of the liberal ideas of autonomy, equality, and freedom.

Vulnerability theory argues a “vulnerable legal subject” should displace the “liberal legal subject” that currently dominates law and policy. The theory is based on the fundamental empirical realities of the material body and offers an alternative to a social contract or rights-based notion of state responsibility, both of which tend to privilege abstractions such as rationality or dignity. A vulnerability analysis poses law and policy questions based on the “vulnerable legal subject” and requires new thinking about state or governmental responsibility. To achieve a truly comprehensive and inclusive notion of what constitutes social justice or a universal or common good, vulnerability theory mandates a reassessment of both equality and freedom as these concepts are currently conceived. Presenting the work of scholars from a wide range of doctrinal areas, it is this task that the book takes up. In particular, in recognizing that many social or institutional relationships entail uneven positions of dependence and reliance, it maintains that individualized notions of equality or freedom are inadequate and must be reformulated to include a sense of collective or social justice, incorporating asymmetric or unequal allocations of responsibility, and requiring appropriate limitations on the individual.

This book’s reorientation of the subject, as well as the central objectives of law and policy, will appeal to scholars and students in law, vulnerability studies, gender studies, critical legal and political theory, politics, philosophy, and sociology."

Publication Title

Law, Vulnerability, and the Responsive State Beyond Equality and Liberty

Document Type