Emory Law Journal


Since 2007, the Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative at Emory has been developing the concepts of vulnerability and resilience and the idea of the ¿vulnerable subject¿ as the only appropriate legal subject around which to build law and policy. In the place of an idealized construct based on autonomy, independence, and self-sufficiency¿our present liberal legal subject¿the vulnerability paradigm recognizes that every actual adult human being, no matter how strong and independent he or she may seem, is both presently and has been in the past reliant on others and on social institutions. The idea of a universal ¿vulnerable subject¿ to replace the universal liberal subject thus raises new issues, poses different questions, and opens up new avenues for critical and theoretical exploration. Within this emerging body of scholarly inquiry, Stu Marvel¿s Article addresses polygamy, same-sex marriage, and plural parentage by examining the legal response to multiple vulnerable subjects, primarily and most significantly children and the institution of marriage or the marital family.

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