Saint Louis University

Join the Political Science Department at noon Friday, Feb. 22, at noon in room 144 of McGannon Hall when Amber Knight, Ph.D., of the Department of Political Science, will present her research titled "Disability as Vulnerability: Redistributing Precariousness in Egalitarian Ways." All are welcome.


This analysis examines how political appeals to a shared human vulnerability could potentially deconstruct the able/disabled binary that continues to exist in the case of disability. The notion of vulnerability is important because it moves us beyond thinking about disability as a discrimination issue, and approaches it as a shared matter of political planning and public welfare. To begin, Knight adjudicates between competing conceptions of vulnerability and its relationship to politics, focusing on the writings of Alasdair MacIntyre, Michael Sandel and Judith Butler.

Drawing from all authors while emphasizing Butler's politicized version of vulnerability, Knight makes the case for how disability scholars and activists should shift political efforts from a narrow focus on identity politics to a more encompassing vision of coalition politics, while also making the case for the state to provide adequate social rights for all citizens.