Ms Georgia van Toorn

Postgraduate Research Student

Research Topic: Neoliberalism and the politics of disability policy: mobilisations and mutations of individualised funding
Supervisor: Dr Natasha Cortis
Co Supervisor: Dr Karen Soldatic

Georgia’s research explores recent trends in welfare state restructuring through a policy-mobilities frame. More specifically, her PhD looks at the shift from in-kind public service provision to individualised and monetised forms of social provisioning, known in the disability field as ‘individualised funding’. Her research has tracked the movement and mutation of this policy across three countries – England, Scotland and Australia – and seeks to explain how and why it has become a favoured global model, particularly in the field of disability. Themes of neoliberalism and marketisation are central to her research project, which has been developed in qualitative fieldwork research recently undertaken in the UK and Australia. Through interviews with policy makers, disability activists and support practitioners, she has been able to show how local geographies of care and support are being transformed by this highly mobile yet locally contingent policy project.


Soldatic, K, Somers, K, Spurway, K & van Toorn, G 2017, 'Emplacing Indigeneity and rurality in neoliberal disability welfare reform: the lived experience of Aboriginal people with disabilities in the West Kimberley, Australia' , Environment and Planning Adoi: 10.1177/0308518X17718374

Dowse, L, Soldatic, K, Spangaro, J & van Toorn, G 2016, 'Mind the gap: the extent of violence against women with disabilities in Australia', The Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 51, no. 3, pp. 341-359.

van Toorn G; Dowse L, 2016, 'Policy claims and problem frames: a cross-case comparison of evidence-based policy in an Australian context', Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice, vol. 12, pp. 9 – 24.

van Toorn, G & Soldatic, KM 2015, 'Disability, rights realisation, and welfare provisioning: what is it about Sweden?', Research and Practice in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 109 - 115.

Soldatic, K, van Toorn, G, Dowse, L & Muir, K 2014, 'Intellectual disability and complex intersections: marginalisation under the National Disability Insurance Scheme', Research and Practice in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 6-16.

Dowse, LM, Soldatic K, Did, A & van Toorn, G 2013, Stop the violence: addressing violence against women and girls with disabilities in Australia, background paper, Stop the Violence, (PDF).