Whos Afraid of Children?: Children, Conflict and International Relations

Introduction: Combatants, Troublemakers, Peacebuilders or What?
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In terms of presentation this book is very disappointing. The argumentation in this book is also undermined by frequent recourse to conjecture in order to account for the actions of different political and military authorities. Furthermore, the author makes a series of assumptions about children themselves — their motivations and thinking — that are not supported.

While Brocklehurst's questions and concerns are certainly topical and important, Who's Afraid of Children? Volume 21 , Issue 4. The full text of this article hosted at iucr. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account.

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Inbunden Engelska, Spara som favorit. Skickas inom vardagar. Laddas ned direkt. Skickas inom vardagar specialorder. Through this, young people are again presented as victims, not of their political leaders, as is the case in their association with the PA, but this time of parental neglect.

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In this assertion, Palestinian children and young people are constructed as security threats through their connection to hostile groups, constructing the perception that their behavior is unpredictable and not easily controlled or managed. This process, indirectly poses the child as a threat, through its relation to other explicitly threatening and securitized actors. As a result of this, there is an enhanced perception that the dissenting activities of children are matters worthy of exceptional measures; allowing considerations of their rights to be sidelined in favor of national security concerns.

In the previous illustrations we saw an ascription of victim-status to the child, and a labeling of children as unreliable due to manipulation. However, simultaneously there is a sense that the concept of childhood loses its privilege during conflict. Namely, that the activism violent or non-violent of Palestinian children becomes perceived and thus responded to, no differently to the actions of adult Palestinians. As discussed, securitization, when departing from the Copenhagen School model, can aid us in understanding the possibility of multiple securitizations concerning a single subject.

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Additionally, this detailed understanding may also be useful in revealing the ways in which something may be securitized. To understand the process of securitizing the child in this particular case, it is important to look beyond the use of speech as the sole securitizing move, and recognize the importance of a practice-based approach also.

In view of this, we shall now address the securitization of children through the Israeli practice of discriminatory child detention. As will be discussed in depth, the laws concerning the detention of Palestinian Children in the West Bank and Gaza are inherently and purposefully discriminatory. The system of Military Orders governing the lives of Palestinian civilians was first instituted in with the issuance of Military Proclamation No.

Since that time, the Israeli authorities have issued over 2, such military orders, with enormous impact on Palestinian life. Primarily, this securitization is evidenced through legal procedures that frame Palestinian children as threatening and Israeli children as benign. As has been mentioned, the most common offense of Palestinian children involved in opposing the Israeli occupation is stone throwing.

In terms of the age of criminal responsibility, in both Israeli civil law and military law applicable to Palestinians, children under the age of twelve years are not held criminally responsible. In the West Bank and Gaza, however, children are subject to the same terms of arrest and detention as adults.

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Concerning the authority to arrest children, we see serious differences in the procedure for Palestinian children and Israeli children. The Israeli practice of discriminating against Palestinian children in the judicial system reflects a securitization through practices. Through treating children of Palestinian nationality more harshly than Israeli settler children, the assertion is implicit that they are inherently more dangerous and represent a more acute security risk than their Israeli counterparts.

Even when the crimes considered are identical, Palestinian children are framed as more responsible for their actions and thus worthy of greater punishment. This process, when working within the Copenhagen School framework is almost invisible. However, in acknowledging the potential role of routinized practices, we see in this case how legal procedure has succeeded in framing the Palestinian child as a threat to state security.

In , Israel further enhanced their policy towards the act of stone throwing by voting to increase the maximum prison sentence to twenty years, a sentence that can apply to both adults and children alike.

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Unfortunately, in presenting stone throwing by Palestinians as a grave security threat, a large number of children involved in low-level resistance to the occupation are securitized alongside the wider Palestinian population. This results in a lack of consideration of their rights, and the legitimation of extreme measures against them. Through the preceding instances, we can see that children are securitized on two fronts.

Firstly, through their association to other more overtly securitized actors such as the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian society; and additionally through the use of discriminatory legal practices concerning child detention. This multi-faceted process, singles out the Palestinian child as particularly dangerous and threatening to state security. There is however, an issue that has not yet been addressed. Who, in all of this, is speaking for the child, and what is their agency throughout this process? This has the effect of removing independent political agency from the child, and reducing their actions to little more than disobedience and unruly behavior.

The problem with this portrayal is that it obscures the importance of children and young people in the conflict. As has been noted, the activism of the young has been, and continues to be central to the resistance against Israeli occupation. The multiple securitizations occurring have significant impacts on the possibility of allowing the child to speak its own security. The statements that have been quoted from the IMFA assert that it is in fact the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian society and its community leaders that are influencing, and therefore speaking for the child.

In this assertion, Israel simultaneously speaks for the child, whilst claiming that other actors are doing the same thing. The problem is, in this narrative however, that the voices of the children themselves are not present or valid at all. This dissertation has evidenced that if we seek to properly understand the way in which Palestinian children living in the Occupied Territories are constructed as security threats, it is necessary to look beyond the Copenhagen School framework and adopt a more complex approach.

Firstly, this dissertation detailed securitization theory as defined by Copenhagen School theorists in order to offer a theoretical basis on which to build an analysis in relation to the Palestinian child. Arguing that security issues emerge from the use of threat-related language by the securitizing actor, the theory offers a means of understanding how certain issues and subjects in this case become elevated above normal politics and are dealt with in the exceptional realm.

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It is in this way, that the state is enabled to utilize exceptional and often extra-legal measures in order to deal with what they themselves have labeled as threatening. Though providing a useful theoretical basis for discussions of security, in order for us to better analyze the securitization of Palestinian children, it was necessary to highlight some critiques of the framework. It has been highlighted that any discussion of securitization in real-world situations, such as the one we are dealing with, requires an acknowledgment that security-narratives are constructed in a much more complex manner than the Copenhagen School suggests.


Herein, groups are also examined individually in order to identify shared characteristics in their process of transition. Kemp, Graham; Fry, Douglas In , Israel further enhanced their policy towards the act of stone throwing by voting to increase the maximum prison sentence to twenty years, a sentence that can apply to both adults and children alike. It is in this way, that the state is enabled to utilize exceptional and often extra-legal measures in order to deal with what they themselves have labeled as threatening. Religious groups have long formally opposed or sought to limit war as in the Second Vatican Council document Gaudiem et Spes : "Any act of war aimed indiscriminately at the destruction of entire cities of extensive areas along with their population is a crime against God and man himself. The movement is very hierarchic and remains grounded in the reality of the Lebanese society. Cohn-Serbok, D.

In this, it was noted that securitization is not necessarily a singular and linear process, as Copenhagen School scholars suggest. Securitization is rather a process and has the potential to be multi-layered and may occur in complex and subtle ways that the original framework cannot comprehend. Additionally, it was highlighted that, any empirical analysis must also, by necessity, seek to look beyond the speech act.

Through this, a more comprehensive theoretical framework was constructed in order for us to analyze the securitization of the Palestinian child. Through this lens, two connected issues were highlighted as evidence of a process of complex and subtle securitization. Firstly, a securitization of children was identified in an analysis of official Israeli government statements.

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Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., - Political Science - pages. Contributions include: 'Children and Politics', 'Children's Bodies and Minds in Global Politics', 'Children in Southern Africa', 'Children in Northern Ireland' and 'Containment, Interdependence and Infant Power'. It develops a new theoretical framework which exposes how children are present in international relations and security practices using an empirical and.

We saw that in a variety of statements, Palestinian children are framed, not independently, but in relation to other Palestinian actors framed as security threats, namely the Palestinian Authority, and more broadly to Palestinian society as a whole. Through this official discourse, we can see evidence of a multi-layered and non-linear securitization, constructing the child as a security threat.

By framing the child as easily manipulated and influenced by other actors, they are portrayed as difficult to manage and control. This portrayal infers an element of unreliability and thus emphasizes them as dangers to security. The second case study approached an analysis of Israeli Military Orders pertaining to the Occupied Territories regarding discriminatory child detention.

It was evidenced that through applying legal practices that discriminate between Israeli and Palestinian children, the Israeli state is framing Palestinian children in a particular way. Through legal discrimination, Israel attempts to infer that Palestinian children are worthy of more severe punishment, and are therefore inherently more dangerous than their Israeli counterparts. Through the analysis of these two cases, we can see that Palestinian children are being securitized by Israel.

The process becomes visible, when a more nuanced and non-linear approach is adopted. This approach recognizes the method of subtle securitization through association to other explicitly securitized actors, and acknowledges the role of routinized practices as contributing to the construction of security threats. Through a nuanced analysis, this dissertation has offered a new way of linking a critiqued and thus more relevant Copenhagen School securitization framework to the case of Palestinian children living in the Occupied Territories. The framework has been applied to instances of securitization through association with other actors, and through the use of discriminatory legal practices.

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In this way, this dissertation has sought to make new connections between the theoretical and the empirical in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the framing of children in Palestine as security threats. These new insights have highlighted the importance of understanding the relationship between security and the child in Palestine. In focusing on the link between security and childhood, this dissertation has sought to go beyond the usual analyses of Palestinian children. Departing from the common focus on discussions of psychosocial trauma, this dissertation has sought to widen the scope of academic analysis, and to emphasize the importance of recognizing the child as the potential subject of security.

The additional Israeli government statements listed in the Appendix would be valuable as sources of further research into the entrenched nature of Israeli securitization of children through securitizing other Palestinian actors. An additional line of further research that would be of value in enhancing our understanding of the child as the subject of security, may be to pursue the link between the child and agency.

The idea of Palestinian children as active and engaged in the conflict has been present through this dissertation.