Rebecca Louise Porter

Rebecca Louise Porter


My research explores the idea that Personal Independence Payment is a form of necropolitical governance (Mbembé, 2003). I hope to characterise the change from DLA to PIP as necropolitical. Necropolitics builds on biopolitics: where tools are used for the governance of certain population’s lives, to argue that necropolitics is the next step, where undesirable populations have their deaths governed by political violence (Mbembe, 2019). This death is threefold: the living the dead, and the living dead. The living dead, in the case of my research, will be the disabled welfare claimant, who is not physically dead, but experiences a life not lived to its full potential, because of political violence and oppression through the welfare state.

After graduating from the University of Manchester with a BA in History and Sociology, I completed my MA in Disability Studies at the University of Leeds, in 2018, and am now undertaking a PhD.

I regularly tweet about disability (@RebeccaPorter_).

I am the postgraduate researcher representative for the Centre for Disability Studies executive committee  

I identify as an academic activist, as a founding member of Leeds Disabled People's Organisation (LDPO). I was previously one of two acting deputy chairs. I was the Organisation's secretary (2018-2020) and help out where I can.

On completion of my PhD, I hope to continue research into how disabled people’s experiences of claiming welfare.

For publications, please see my ORCID ID.

Research interests

My research interests include:

  • Interdisciplinary/cross-disciplinary explorations of disability
  • Welfare, and regulation of disability and disablement
  • The relationship between disability, inequality, and poverty
  • Disabled people's access to leisure facilities, and leisure time
  • Disability and music (disabled audience members)

My interest in disability research came from navigating my disabled identity when diagnosed with Dyspraxia/Developmental Coordination Disorder aged 19. I was then later diagnosed with a chronic pain condition that causes physical impairment, at the start of my undergraduate studies. My discovery of Disability Studies was my undergraduate dissertation on Disability stereotyping in the media. My MA dissertation looked at disabled people’s access and inclusion in live music event spaces.


  • BA History and Sociology
  • MA Disability Studies

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Disability Studies
  • The Bauman Institute