Book chapter
Open access

Representing Children

Published inThe Politics of Children’s Rights and Representation, Editors engt Sandin, Jonathan Josefsson, Karl Hanson, Sarada Balagopalan, p. 1-28
PublisherCham : Palgrave MacMillan
  • Studies in Childhood and Youth
Publication date2023
First online date2023-03-12

In this introductory chapter we situate children’s rights and representation in a context of childhood politics. The question of children’s representation is particularly timely in today’s world not only because of demographic shifts and the increase of the generation under 18 years of age but also because of the global challenges we face. Despite making up half of the world’s population, children and youth have in many respects been denied the capacity to represent their interests, particularly on matters of political import. However, it is clear that young people in many contexts have been understood as either competent contributors to politics with a legitimate claim to represent themselves, or in other cases, have been regarded as posing a considerable risk to society and stability. In the chapter we start by outlining three key elements of children’s representation. Firstly, we suggest that children’s representation consists of how children as a group, or the child and childhood as a figure, is portrayed or described. Second, children’s representation involves speaking or acting on behalf of children or children’s state of being so represented and [Author1] thus involves a performative act. Thirdly, children’s representation is an act of, and the result of, politics and political struggles around childhood. In the following sections we present and discuss the contributions of the volume in relation to the main themes of the book; Childhood politics: from rights and participation to representation, children’s representation and the international politics of children’s rights, and, children’s representation in times of inequalities and injustices.

  • Children's rights studies
  • Childhood studies
  • International relations
  • Political science
  • Human rights law
NoteIntroduction chapter for the edited volume "The Politics of Children’s Rights and Representation" that presents the main themes and challenges of the book.
Citation (ISO format)
JOSEFSSON, Jonathan et al. Representing Children. In: The Politics of Children’s Rights and Representation. Cham : Palgrave MacMillan, 2023. p. 1–28. (Studies in Childhood and Youth) doi: 10.1007/978-3-031-04480-9_1
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Book chapter (Published version)

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