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Militarized children and sovereign power

Militarized children and sovereign power

Macmillan, Lorraine ORCID: 0000-0003-4850-2838 (2011) Militarized children and sovereign power. In: Beier, J. Marshall, (ed.) The Militarization of Childhood: Thinking Beyond the Gloal South. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, USA, pp. 61-76. ISBN 978-1349296804 (doi:

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A motley crew of child soldiers, terrorists, suicide bombers, and vulnerable refugees populate child advocates’ discourse on the militarization of childhood (see, for example, Achvarina and Reich 2006). Within this rag-tag assembly, Western children are conspicuous by their almost total absence. While sectors of the public may consider many Western children to be militarized through pursuits such as video-gaming and attendance at cadet schools, they appear to pose negligible risk to society and consequently constitute a far less visible public issue. Indeed, in the case of 16- and 17-year-old recruits to Western armed forces, there may be tacit public endorsement and even pride in their participation.1 The objective of this chapter is not to probe the biases that foreground militarized children in the global South as a security threat above their Western counterparts. That is done elsewhere (Jezequel 2006; Macmillan 2009). Here, focus is directed to three aspects of child advocates’ and public discourse. First the focus is placed on how militarization of Western childhoods remains relatively unproblematized within the West itself and second, how the disapproval it arouses is uneven, despite heightened anxiety over the state of childhood.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: children, militarization, Foucault, sovereign power, Agamben, state of exception
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > Centre for Applied Sociology Research (CASR)
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS)
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2020 00:52

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