Children: Rights and Childhood

Children: Rights and Childhood

Children: Rights and Childhood

Children: Rights and Childhood


Children: Rights and childhood is widely regarded as the first book to offer a detailed philosophical examination of children's rights. Drawing on a wide variety of sources from law and literature to politics and psychology, David Archard provides a clear and accessible introduction to a topic that has assumed increasing relevance since the book's first publication.Divided clearly into three parts, Children: Rights and childhood covers key topics such as:* John Locke's writings on children* Philippe Aries's Centuries of Childhood * key texts on children's liberation and rights* a child's right to vote and to sexual choice* the rights of parents and the state over children* defining and understanding child abuse.The second edition has been fully revised and updated including a new preface, a new chapter on children's moral and legal rights, taking into account the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and a new chapter on children under the law, taking changes in European law into account.


I am grateful to Tony Bruce at Routledge for inviting me to write a second edition of this book for a number of reasons. Since the book was first published a great deal more philosophical work on children and their rights has been published. The second edition takes account of this new work. Second, any talk of children's rights must take account, as the first edition did not, of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). I have thus been able in this new edition of the book to write an entirely new chapter on the legal and moral rights of children. Third, I am no longer convinced of the defensibility of a view I gave prominence to in the first edition, namely that every child has the right to the best possible upbringing. No such right exists in the CRC and I am not now persuaded it should. I speak instead in this edition of every child's right to a minimally decent upbringing. Fourth, I have been able to add a chapter on the important topic, neglected in the first edition, of children under the law. The book has been extensively revised throughout with two entirely new chapters.

Since the publication of the original edition I have had the opportunity to discuss my ideas on children with a large number of people and at many different academic occasions. I am extremely grateful to all of these people. However, I would like to give special thanks to the following individuals for their help, advice and comments in various respects and at different times: Margaret Coady, Tony Coady, Karl Hanson, Michael King, Hugh LaFollette, Matthew Liao, Colin Macleod, Thomas Pogge, Tom Sorell and Hillel Steiner.

For seven years up until 2003 I was a member of the Dundee Children's Panel. The Scottish Children's Hearing System is briefly discussed in this new edition. I wish to say here that I greatly esteem the system and learned a huge amount about children, the law and society from my experiences on the Panel. I owe a debt of thanks to all those who serve the system, especially my fellow Panel members and the Reporters.

My partner, Bernarde, is due as always my heartfelt thanks for her help, encouragement and advice. The fact that these thanks are repeatedly given does not make them any the less deeply or sincerely felt.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.