The Politics of Disability
A Need for a Just Society Inclusive of People with Disabilities
by Peter Gibilisco
Foreword by Frank Stilwell
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We are confronted by neoliberalism and the inhumane consequences of its economic policies. The claim
that "there is no alternative" to profit-making simply denies basic features of everyday reality. The
Politics of Disability asks: Just where does all of this leave people with disabilities? What are
their alternatives? They are among the most downtrodden people, frequently treated as losers for not trying
hard enough. This meritocratic principle is antiquated and yet as a basic element of a political system it
means that here is at most a little left-over welfare for those with disabilities. In The Politics of
Disability the author suggests that there are alternatives and points to what he believes is a better
"Dr. Peter Gibilisco is a significant voice in the ongoing struggle for social justice for people
with disabilities. Over many years, he has argued for the need to use the insights of sociology and political
economy to engage critically with and challenge the societal structures that systematically exclude people
with disabilities from full participation in society. This latest and very important contribution from Peter
Gibilisco, The Politics of Disability, combines analysis of social, political and economic
structures with in-depth engagement with the personal narratives of people with disabilities and others such
as those working in the disability services sector. By integrating this material, Peter Gibiliscoís insightful
analysis reveals both how contemporary forms of social exclusion and inequality have emerged, and also how it
is possible for individuals and groups to struggle to seek and to achieve social change so as to bring about
a more socially inclusive world that benefits all. I highly recommend this book for all those seeking to create
a better world."
- Prof. Tim Marjoribanks, La Trobe Business School, La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia
"The Politics of Disability integrates personal experience, political analysis and policy prescriptions in pursuit of a just
society. It deserves to be widely read and noticed. The authorís personal commitment to empowering people with
disabilities shines throughout. If you are interested in the practicalities of living with a disability or the
politics of creating caring and inclusive public policies, you should read this book. If you are not interested
in these issues, that is even more reason why you should read this book!"
- Frank Stilwell, Emeritus Professor of Political Economy, University of Sydney
"Peter has learned to write about his own responses to his progressive condition without worrying too much
about the image he presents of his situation on the page, or, computer screen. There is something truly
inspiring here and I would invite readers to think deeply about this problematic as they consider Peterís
persistent push for justice for the severely disabled. The chapters that he has written for The Politics
of Disability draw upon his own experiences and he contributes knowing deep down that much more is at
stake than merely ensuring his own comfort."
- Bruce C. Wearne (Point Lonsdale)
"A wide ranging and thought provoking critique of disability in policy, in practice and in the public
imagination, from a vital but rarely heard perspective of a service user with high support needs. For Peter,
the political is very personal."
- Penny Paul, BA, BSW, MPP (Melb)
"Peter Gibilisco examines the currently accepted dogma of neoliberalism and its negative ramifications for a just society for the disabled. Given that Peter is disabled, he offers unique insights into the shortcomings of our society for the disabled individual, and presents a more human and just solution. A thought provoking, confronting and inspiring analysis."
About the Author
- Dr. Peter Sember, Innovations Expert
Dr. Peter Gibilisco, BA B Bus, MA (Mon'h), PhD (Melb) is 52 years old, has Friedreich's ataxia, a
progressive condition that left him confined to a wheelchair, with slurred speech, to name a few
inherent challenges. Despite this he has shown a command of different abilities, succeeding in a PhD
at the University of Melbourne, where he researches as an (Honorary) Fellow.
Click here to visit Peter Gibilisco's web site
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The Politics of Disability
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Worldwide release August 2014
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