Punishing childhoods: contradictions in children’s rights and global governance
Pupavac, Vanessa (2011) Punishing childhoods: contradictions in children’s rights and global governance. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 5 (3). ISSN 1750-2977 (In Press)
The article considers efforts to eradicate corporal punishment as an aspect of the global governance of childhood and raises problems relevant to global governance more broadly. The article analyses contradictions in children’s rights advocacy between its universal human rights norms and implicit relativist development model. Children’s rights research is influenced by social constructivist theories, which highlight the history of childhood and childhood norms. Earlier social constructivist studies identified the concept of childhood underpinning the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) as a Western construction based on Western historical experiences, which excluded the experiences of childhood in developing countries. More recent social constructivist approaches emphasise how childhood norms are constructed and therefore can be reconstructed. The article outlines problems with attempts to globalise childhood norms without globalising material development. The article discusses the softening of discipline norms in Western societies historically. It indicates problems with children’s rights advocacy seeking to eradicate the corporal punishment of children globally without globalising the material conditions, which underpin the post-industrial ideal of childhood embodied in the CRC.
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