Introduction to the special issue on welfare conditionality in Australia

Cameron Parsell*, Eve Vincent, Elise Klein, Andrew Clarke, Tamara Walsh

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    Conditionality in Australia’s welfare state has sustained a significant academic critique, including the critique published in this journal. In this Special Issue of the Australian Journal of Social Issues, we contribute to the existing critical literature on welfare conditionality. This Special Issue aimed to provide empirical scrutiny into welfare reform and conditionality in Australia. The articles extend our understanding of welfare conditionality’s underpinnings and its lived effects. These case studies illuminate the aspects of welfare conditionality that have not received enough attention: the role of technology, the question of mobility, the relationship with housing and the little thought given to the state’s role in mutual obligation. What is clear is that the individualisation of structural problems is not just a theoretical and political misstep ripe for critique, but leads to the formulation of policies that impact marginalised people’s capacity to shape life on their own terms. Through different empirical foci, all papers in this Special Issue demonstrate how welfare conditionality is put forward as a solution to address the consequences of structural disadvantage.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4-12
    Number of pages9
    JournalAustralian Journal of Social Issues
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


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