Despite increasing interest in recent years, disability remains a neglected area of study within mainstream political science. Beginning with a brief overview of the ways that disability studies scholars have defined disability, I address the issues that have arisen in trying to measure disability as well as the limits and possibilities that follow from thinking of people with disabilities as a minority group with defined political beliefs and interests. To the extent that much of the work on disability in political science looks to the research on gender, race, ethnicity, and class as a touchstone, I consider the lessons that might be drawn from this work both as it relates to disability as a social category and regarding efforts to conceive of disability and ability in more structural and ideological terms. Turning to the literature on disability in political theory, I examine the ways that disability has been deployed to reveal the ableist assumptions that pervade canonical and more contemporary texts. I conclude by highlighting avenues for future research, including whether it is possible—or, indeed, desirable—to move beyond the civil rights and identity-based frameworks that have so defined disability politics and organizing.

Expected final online publication date for the , Volume 27 is June 2024. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error