Welfare as Wrecking Ball: Constructing Public Responsibility in Legal Encounters Over Public Housing Demolition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Scholarship on welfare privatization illustrates how the process often curtails and undermines public responsibility for the poor. In this article, I examine how recipients, policy makers, and judges participate in the legal process as a means of challenging and defending privatization. I look at cases of litigation initiated by public housing tenants between 1985 and 2012 to fight the demolition of their homes to explore the changing meaning of public responsibility within a shrinking public sector. My findings show that as legislative and administrative reforms steered courts toward a more flexible understanding of public responsibility, courts gave increasing attention to the economic hardships experienced by the state itself, while downplaying the plight of low-income tenants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)670-700
Number of pages31
JournalLaw and Social Inquiry
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Law

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