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Critical Studies on Security
Cecilia Jacob, ‘ “Children and Armed Conflict” and the Field of Security Studies’, Critical Studies on Security, 3(1) 2015: 14-28.
Sociological studies in childhood have successfully carved out a research agenda that establishes children as worthy research subjects in their own right. This insight has impacted on international relations (IR) very late compared to similar developments throughout the social sciences given the perceived marginality of children to ‘central’ IR discussions of power, sovereignty, and security. A number of IR scholars have engaged with critical security studies and pioneered work that has justified the relevance of children to IR. This article goes a step further to build on this emergent body of important literature, advocating a Bourdieu-inspired conceptualization of child security in global politics. This approach to the study of children affected by armed conflict contributes theoretical insights for critical security studies, including the way we see civilians in conflict zones and humanitarian spaces, and pointing to the political implications of locating children in the social-political spaces of conflict and security.