Technical Fixes as Challenges to State Legitimacy: Australian Separated Fathers’ Suggestions for Child Support Policy Reform

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This paper assesses fathers’ evidence presented to an Australian inquiry into the child support scheme. We examine these data to identify fathers’ proposed child support policy solutions, and compare these against Eekalaar’s critique of parents’ moral responsibilities to children and identification of three substitute social bases for parents’ continued support. We find that despite the inquiry’s technical remit, fathers’ solutions challenged the very basis of child support as maintaining, reinforcing, or redressing their responsibilities to children. Here, we illustrate that such procedures may be unable to contain fundamental challenges to state legitimacy when dealing with contested social issues.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages34
JournalSocial Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society
Early online date4 Dec 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Dec 2019

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  • Australia; child support; fathers; moral authority; state legitimacy

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