Critical Social Policy, Ahead of Print.
Theorisations of state violence under austerity have been criticised for their imprecision. In response, this article introduces the concept of institutional neglect: a specific modality of structural violence. We argue that institutional neglect occurs when state services deny care to eligible clients. This is a normative claim which locates an obligation to care in the body of the state. Through case studies of two local authority-run care services in the UK, we identify three banal, quotidian techniques of neglect: delay, deferral, and diversion. We emphasise that care is not necessarily an antidote to violence; instead, care and violence are increasingly entangled within state bureaucracies under austerity.