The Politics of Vulnerability and Care: An Interview with Estelle Ferrarese


  • Liesbeth Schoonheim Humboldt University Berlin
  • Tivadar Vervoort KU Leuven
  • Estelle Ferrarese Picardie-Jules-Verne University



Care, Vulnerability, Welfare State, Mutual Aid, Care Ethics, Critical Theory


In this interview, Estelle Ferrarese elaborates on her account of vulnerability and care to highlight its political and social, as opposed to its ethical, dimensions. Drawing on, amongst others, Adorno, Tronto, Castell, and Laugier, she argues that vulnerability and care should not be understood ontologically, as an antropological exposure of the body, but rather socially, as the normative expectations and material conditions under which care work takes place. Situating her approach in anglophone and francophone discussions on vulnerability and precarity, she discusses her approach to normative expectations and how it informs her account of vulnerability of living at the mercy of someone else's agency, as well as the politicization of vulnerability. She also discusses the political implications of her account of vulnerability and care with regard to a range of contemporary issues, such as the Men's Right Movement, the posthuman turn and the Antropocene, and mutual aid and the neoliberalization of the welfare state.

Author Biographies

Liesbeth Schoonheim, Humboldt University Berlin

Liesbeth Schoonheim is a post-doctoral researcher at the research unit Theory of Politics at Humboldt University Berlin. She is an editor of Krisis.

Tivadar Vervoort, KU Leuven

Tivadar Vervoort is an FWO PhD Fellow in social philosophy at KU Leuven. He is an editor of Krisis and de Nederlandse Boekengids.

Estelle Ferrarese, Picardie-Jules-Verne University

Estelle Ferrarese is a full-professor of moral and political philosophy at Picardie-Jules-Verne University (France). She is a Senior Member of the Institut Universitaire de France. She has been a Visiting Professor at the New School for Social Research in New York, an Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation fellow at the Humboldt Universität in Berlin, and a research fellow at the Marc Bloch Franco-German Center of Social Science Research, in Berlin. Her books include: Vulnerability and Critical Theory (Brill 2018), The Politics of Vulnerability (ed., Routledge 2017), La Fragilité du souci des autres. Adorno et le care (Editions de l’ENS 2018 (engl. transl. The Fragility of Concern for others. Adorno and the Ethics of Care Edinburgh University Press 2020), Ethique et politique de l'espace public. Habermas et la discussion (Vrin 2015).



How to Cite

Schoonheim, Liesbeth, Tivadar Vervoort, and Estelle Ferrarese. 2022. “The Politics of Vulnerability and Care: An Interview With Estelle Ferrarese”. Krisis | Journal for Contemporary Philosophy 42 (1):77-92.