We deploy a novel and radical approach to vulnerability theory to investigate Scotland's response to asylum seekers’ vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic and test Scotland's self-affirmation as a hospitable country. Our ethical vulnerability analysis enhances Fineman's vulnerability analysis by denationalising the vulnerable subject and locating her within our ‘uneven globalised world’. We further enrich this fuller version of vulnerability analysis with insights from Levinas's and Derrida's radical vulnerability theory and ethics of hospitality. We demonstrate how our ethical vulnerability analysis enables us to subvert the hostile premise of migration laws and policies, and thus fundamentally redefine relationships between guests and hosts so that the host is compelled to respond to the Other's vulnerability. We argue that this hospitable impulse yields a generous and absolute commitment to progressive social welfare provision for asylum seekers, which brings Scotland closer to fulfilling its aspirations to be a hospitable host by welcoming the Other.
Da Lomba, S., & Vermeylen, S. (2022). Ethical vulnerability analysis and unconditional hospitality in times of COVID-19: rethinking social welfare provision for asylum seekers in Scotland. International Journal of Law in Context, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1017/s1744552322000192