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Disabled people, the reserve army of labour and welfare reform

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date12/2005
JournalDisability and Society
Number of pages13
Original languageEnglish


This paper is concerned with explaining why in contemporary society there has been a number of changes to income maintenance and labour market policy for disabled people. Taking a regulation approach theoretical framework it engages with the debate about whether disabled people can be considered to be part of the reserve army of labour. Rejecting previous broad-brush approaches that seem to suggest that all disabled people are part of the reserve army, it argues that the policy changes have been aimed at reconstructing non-employed disabled people as an important part of the reserve army in a period when labour markets are becoming tighter. In this sense disabled people are crucial to New Labour's regulation of neo-liberal accumulation that is structured through a contradiction between economic stability and increasing participation in paid employment.

Bibliographic note

50% contribution RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Social Work and Social Policy & Administration