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Children and International Relations: a new site of knowledge?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 May 2006


Recent years have seen the growth of approaches critical of traditional state-centred examinations of international relations, arguing instead for analyses that recognise actors and methods previously held largely silent within the mainstream International Relations (IR) discourse. This article argues that children are a group of actors worthy of similar recognition. Despite the fact that ‘childhood studies’ are comparatively well established in a number of academic disciplines, similar recognition has been later in coming to the study of IR. This article aims to address this perceived gap in the literature by first of all outlining the ways in which the discourse surrounding the child in IR has so far developed. This leads into an examination of how the child may potentially best be conceptualised within the mainstream discourse and the implications of the inclusion of children as a ‘site of knowledge’ through which the international system may be more clearly understood.

Research Article
2006 British International Studies Association

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