The Politics of Child Protection in Contemporary England: Towards the ‘Authoritarian Neoliberal State’

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Over the last 40 years, we have witnessed an increasing public and political interest in the problem of child maltreatment and the failures of the relevant agencies and professionals to protect children. No longer is this only concerned with parental cruelty to young children but includes concerns about a range of harms to children and young people of all ages in a variety of contexts and situations. Most recently, this has included, for example, huge concern about child sexual exploitation. Such issues have become increasingly emotionally charged and politicised in recent years. However, the focus of much of the ‘outrage’ has been on the failures of the child protection systems rather than seriously addressing the social problem of child maltreatment and what might be done about it. Similarly, child-abuse scandals have become something of a proxy for numerous debates about a range of political issues concerned with the work of a variety of health, welfare and criminal justice professionals and their managers together with arguments about the nature and direction of social policy more generally. This chapter will critically analyse such developments and demonstrate how they have been central to informing the way conceptions of childhood have been constructed in contemporary Britain.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransdiscplinary Perspectives on Childhood in Contemporary Britain
Subtitle of host publicationLiterature, Media and Society
EditorsSandra Dinter, Ralf Schneider
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781315313375
ISBN (Print)9781138232105
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2017

Publication series

NameStudies in Childhood, 1700 to the Present


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