The Concept of Vulnerability in the Context of Human Rights

About the Project

Research Topic & Roadmap

The concept of vulnerability has gained much importance in public, scientific and political discussions in recent years. As a result, it has also found its way into the human rights debate. Vulnerability is used in various disciplines and policy fields, such as in the context of development cooperation, climate change, humanitarian aid, in the field of asylum and migration, or in issues of equality and non-discrimination.

Over a period of four years, from April 2019 to April 2023, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights’ (LBI-GMR) programme line “(In)equalities and Non-Discrimination” will address opportunities and problems of the concept of vulnerability in the human rights field. Although there is already some research on the content, consequences and application of the concept, a comprehensive and comparative analysis of the concept from a human rights perspective based on empirical research is still pending.

Research Focus

To fill this research gap, the project will:

  • systematically explore different dimensions of the concept in order to clarify the substantive dimensions and goals of the concept of vulnerability. Central to this is the linking of theoretical analyses with empirical research.
  • examine the concept of vulnerability in relation to “similar” concepts such as inequality or discrimination. Comparatively, the potentials, challenges and problems will be explored from a human rights perspective.

Research Method

A central component of the research project is the empirical exploration of the concept of vulnerability on the basis of case studies. The focus is on combining theoretical analyses with empirical research.

The focus here is on three thematic fields in which the concept is increasingly used:

  • asylum and flight
  • environmental/climate change-related migration
  • equality and anti-discrimination
To the Research Blog

Project Data

  • Project Title: The Concept of Vulnerability in the Context of Human Rights
  • Project Responsibility: Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights
  • Project Team LBI-GMR: Monika Mayrhofer (project leader), Margit Ammer, Katrin Wladasch
  • Project Duration: April 2019 to October 2023
  • Funding Source: FWF Austrian Science Fund
  • Programme Line LBI-GMR: (In-)Equalities and Non-Discrimination

Contact

Monika Mayrhofer

Senior Researcher

+43 1 4277-27462 zbavxn.znleubsre@tze.yot.np.ng