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  • Author or Editor: Manfred Liebel x
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From Exclusion to Dignity
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European colonization of other continents has had far-reaching and lasting consequences for the construction of childhoods and children’s lives throughout the world.

Liebel presents critical postcolonial and decolonial thought currents along with international case studies from countries in Africa, Latin America, and former British settler colonies to examine the complex and multiple ways that children throughout the Global South continue to live with the legacy of colonialism.

Building on the work of Cannella and Viruru, he explores how these children are affected by unequal power relations, paternalistic policies and violence by state and non-state actors, before showing how we can work to ensure that children’s rights are better promoted and protected, globally.

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The epilogue summarizes the manifestations of postcolonial paternalism towards children and a particular use of children's rights. It shows how an anti-paternalist child rights policy can contribute to overcoming this paternalism and illustrates this with the example of a local group of the African Movement of Working Children and Youth in Senegal.

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This book addresses key aspects of the post- and decolonial analysis of childhood, such as the scope and limitations of Eurocentric concepts of childhood and the impact of social inequality aggravated by capitalist globalization on children's life prospects. In this context, it discusses the specific modes of agency emerging in children of the Global South. It reconstructs the way in which the colonialization process and the ideologies that supported it have used the metaphor of childhood, and investigates the extent to which they are reproduced in processes of colonizing childhoods. The book presents some colonial and postcolonial policy approaches to modelling childhood in different regions of the world, and asks how, within the postcolonial constellation, children's rights are to be understood and how to deal with them to overcome postcolonial paternalism. Particularly, it discusses various forms of paternalism and asks how they can be overcome in the field of rights-based children’s protection and participation and how child-led movements in the Global South can be understood as a form of citizenship from below. The book explains theoretical and conceptional reflections by case studies from Africa, Latin America and Asia. Finally, the book portrays efforts directed against the invisibilization, marginalization and social exclusion of childhoods and the recuperation of a dignified life of children.

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This book addresses key aspects of the post- and decolonial analysis of childhood, such as the scope and limitations of Eurocentric concepts of childhood and the impact of social inequality aggravated by capitalist globalization on children's life prospects. In this context, it discusses the specific modes of agency emerging in children of the Global South. It reconstructs the way in which the colonialization process and the ideologies that supported it have used the metaphor of childhood, and investigates the extent to which they are reproduced in processes of colonizing childhoods. The book presents some colonial and postcolonial policy approaches to modelling childhood in different regions of the world, and asks how, within the postcolonial constellation, children's rights are to be understood and how to deal with them to overcome postcolonial paternalism. Particularly, it discusses various forms of paternalism and asks how they can be overcome in the field of rights-based children’s protection and participation and how child-led movements in the Global South can be understood as a form of citizenship from below. The book explains theoretical and conceptional reflections by case studies from Africa, Latin America and Asia. Finally, the book portrays efforts directed against the invisibilization, marginalization and social exclusion of childhoods and the recuperation of a dignified life of children.

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Author:

This book addresses key aspects of the post- and decolonial analysis of childhood, such as the scope and limitations of Eurocentric concepts of childhood and the impact of social inequality aggravated by capitalist globalization on children's life prospects. In this context, it discusses the specific modes of agency emerging in children of the Global South. It reconstructs the way in which the colonialization process and the ideologies that supported it have used the metaphor of childhood, and investigates the extent to which they are reproduced in processes of colonizing childhoods. The book presents some colonial and postcolonial policy approaches to modelling childhood in different regions of the world, and asks how, within the postcolonial constellation, children's rights are to be understood and how to deal with them to overcome postcolonial paternalism. Particularly, it discusses various forms of paternalism and asks how they can be overcome in the field of rights-based children’s protection and participation and how child-led movements in the Global South can be understood as a form of citizenship from below. The book explains theoretical and conceptional reflections by case studies from Africa, Latin America and Asia. Finally, the book portrays efforts directed against the invisibilization, marginalization and social exclusion of childhoods and the recuperation of a dignified life of children.

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This chapter follows some of the debates conducted in social childhood studies, such as the question of whether a ‘global childhood’ has developed during the processes of globalization and discusses the scope and limitations of Eurocentric childhood patterns. It explains what postcolonial constellations and postcolonial childhoods mean and illustrates these concepts with some empirical data. Finally, the chapter looks at the manifestations of children’s agency in the Global South and how agency can be conceptualized.

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In order to gain a concept of childhoods in the Global South, it is necessary to understand the connections between colonialization and childhood. This chapter conceptualizes childhood as a form of being and engages in a discourse on the same. It shows how the history of childhood is closely intertwined with changes in the modes of production and reproduction of societies. Particularly with the development of the capitalist mode of production in the modern European era and the rise of the bourgeoisie to the ruling class. In the first part, this chapter discusses the mental connections between the emergence of the European bourgeois childhood pattern and the colonialization of foreign continents. In this context, it traces the dialectic of education or literacy and power in the colonial and postcolonial relations. In the second part, this chapter explains how, in the 1960s and 70s, the discourse on the colonization of childhood arose and finally was linked with post- and decolonial theories. In conclusion it sheds light on some ambivalences of European-bourgeois childhood constructions with regard to colonialization and decolonization.

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This chapter outlines the basic ideas of postcolonial theory and presents some of the most important contributions from Africa and Latin America. It introduces different currents of postcolonial theory known as Subaltern Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Southern Theory, Philosophy of Liberation, Ethnophilosophy, Coloniality of Power, Coloniality of Knowledge, De-Coloniality/Decolonization, Epistemology of the South or Ubuntu, and discusses their significance for the analysis of childhoods in the Global South. Although postcolonial thought has not taken children and childhoods into consideration, the chapter takes it up in order to acquire a better understanding of children in their respective living contexts and their potentials for action, by which childhoods are placed more precisely in their historical and geopolitical contexts.

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Generally, a national State is considered the guarantor of protection and safety of the people living within its borders or who are subjected to its sovereignty. Yet history is full of examples in which State authorities not only neglect their responsibility toward at-risk people, but also actively contribute to threatening and endangering the lives of the latter. This is especially manifest within State policies referring to people considered ‘foreign’, or whose benefit towards society is questioned. This chapter reviews some historical examples, in which poor and indigenous children have been affected by such violent, exclusionary and discriminatory policies with racist connotations, of which consequences can still be felt today. Particularly, it reconstructs cases from the British Empire and from States emerging from settler colonies, namely United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

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The colonization of the subcontinent, now called Latin America, was at first a severe form of exploitation of land and people. Over the massive immigration of European migrants and the recruitment of slaves from Africa, the colonies in the subcontinent have gradually changed to settler colonies. The conquest of the Southern subcontinent went hand in hand with an extensive biological intermarriage between the colonists on the one hand and the indigenous and African descendent populations, predominantly their women, on the other. This mixing continued after the formation of independent Latin American republics starting in the beginning of the 19th century, but without alteration of the supremacy the descendants of the white conquerors have had. This chapter presents different practices, which can be traced back to similar causes. First, the racist violence against so-called illegitimate children, secondly, the treatment of children of indigenous and African descendent populations in order to ‘civilize’ them. These practices are based in part on the racist convictions of the colonial potentates and continue to take place today in Latin American societies.

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