Debates about children’s rights not only concern those things that children have a right to have and to do but also our broader social and political community, and the moral and political status of the child within it.
This book examines children’s rights and citizenship in the USA, UK and Australia and analyses the policy, law and sociology that govern the transition from childhood to adulthood. By examining existing debates on childhood citizenship, the author pursues the claim that childhood is the most heavily governed period of a liberal individual’s life, and argues that childhood is an intensely monitored period that involves a ‘politics of becoming adult’. Drawing upon case studies from the USA, the UK and Australia, this concept is used to critically analyse debates and policy concerning children’s citizenship, criminality, and sexuality. In doing so, the book seeks to uncover what informs and limits how we think about, talk about, and govern children’s rights in liberal societies.
This book will be of interest to students and scholars of political science, governance, social policy, ethics, politics of childhood and public policy.
Introduction 1 The Paternalistic Paradigm of Children’s Rights 2 The Liberal Rationality of Children’s Rights 3 The Political Problem of Children’s Rights 4 Criminality 5 Sexuality 6 Citizenship 7 Governmentality 8 The Politics of Becoming Adult