From warfare to welfare: veterans, military charities and the blurred spatiality of post-service welfare in the United Kingdom
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© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015. The military offers a form of welfare-for-work but when personnel leave they lose this safety net, a loss exacerbated by the rollback neoliberalism of the contemporary welfare state. Increasingly the third sector has stepped in to address veterans’ welfare needs through operating within and across military/civilian and state/market/community spaces and cultures. In this paper we use both veterans’ and military charities’ experiences to analyse the complex politics that govern the liminal boundary zone of post-military welfare. Through exploring ‘crossing’ and ‘bridging’ we conceptualise military charities as ‘boundary subjects’, active yet dependent on the continuation of the civilian-military binary, and argue that the latter is better understood as a multidirectional, multiscalar and contextual continuum. Post-military welfare emerges as a competitive, confused and confusing assemblage that needs to be made more navigable in order to better support the ‘heroic poor’.
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