Picture of boy being examining by doctor at a tuberculosis sanatorium

Understanding our future through Open Access research about our past...

Strathprints makes available scholarly Open Access content by researchers in the Centre for the Social History of Health & Healthcare (CSHHH), based within the School of Humanities, and considered Scotland's leading centre for the history of health and medicine.

Research at CSHHH explores the modern world since 1800 in locations as diverse as the UK, Asia, Africa, North America, and Europe. Areas of specialism include contraception and sexuality; family health and medical services; occupational health and medicine; disability; the history of psychiatry; conflict and warfare; and, drugs, pharmaceuticals and intoxicants.

Explore the Open Access research of the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare. Or explore all of Strathclyde's Open Access research...

Image: Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. Wellcome Collection - CC-BY.

A bully in the playground : examining the role of neoliberal economic globalisation in children’s struggle to become ‘fully human’

Davidson, Jennifer (2010) A bully in the playground : examining the role of neoliberal economic globalisation in children’s struggle to become ‘fully human’. Law, Social Justice and Global Development, 16 (2). ISSN 1467-0437

[img]
Preview
Text (Davidson-LGD-2010-A-bully-in-the-playground-examining-the-role-of-neoliberal-economic-globalisation)
Davidson_LGD_2010_A_bully_in_the_playground_examining_the_role_of_neoliberal_economic_globalisation.pdf
Final Published Version
License: Other

Download (294kB) | Preview

Abstract

This article begins by exploring the Western historical progression of the conceptual place of children along a Property-Welfare-Rights continuum. It applies Baxi’s “logics of exclusion and inclusion” to the complex dynamic of children’s advancement in becoming ‘fully human’ through their achievement of internationally recognised human rights. It critically considers the comprehensive vulnerability of children based both on their evolving levels of development and on the multifaceted challenges of the application and enforcement of their rights. The ideological and practical realities influencing this evolution exist in an increasingly globalised world in which international economic dynamics play a particularly influential role. The character and substance of these are explored. This follows with an examination of the influence of these dynamics on both the environment in which the struggle for children’s rights to be recognised takes place, and on the ideological concepts of these rights themselves. It is proposed that the dominant form of globalisation, NEG, perpetuates ideological exclusionary criteria which thwart children’s achievement of becoming “fully human”. This is most evident in the neoliberal views on the paramount importance of the individual, and on the limited role for the state. It is the NEG perception of the child, in locating her/him within an individualistic framework and dismissing the wider societal context, which justifies at best a welfare-entitlement agenda and denies children rights. Further, this results in a justification of the effects of poverty, in particular for children of the South. This exclusion of children from bearing rights is achieved globally through NEG systems and processes which handicap the autonomy of states. The NEG maintains this exclusion of children through its deemed legitimate and commonsensical hegemony. Through these mechanisms, NEG bullies states into advancing a new form of colonialism that discriminates against children. The related way in which human rights discourse has itself been influenced by NEG ideology is also explored. The article concludes with the proposal that the effective recognition of children’s rights necessitates an understanding of the exclusionary criteria imposed by NEG. A fundamental modification of the terms and mechanisms within which NEG functions is essential to compensate for children’s unique and disproportionate vulnerabilities.