This book has already proved itself as a course adoption leader in Childhood Studies. All of the strengths of the First Edition have been retained. The book is comprehensive and judged with the needs of students in mind. It is a model of clarity and precision and has been acknowledged as such in reviews and course feedback. The new edition thoroughly revises old entries and adds new ones. The book is the most accessible, relevant student introduction to this expanding, interdisciplinary field. It is an indispensable teaching text and an ideal prompt for researchers.
Although current debates about child soldiers tend to focus on the use of children by armed groups, such as the Lord's Resistence Army, in various African conflicts, the involvement of children (as defined by the UNCRC – i.e. people below the age of 18) in war is not a new, or even a recent, phenomenon. Rosen (2005) argues that children have always been involved in fighting wars including, for example, the American Civil War. In addition, children have also always had experience of war, even if not directly involved as combatants, with, in some instances, children being specifically targeted (Wells, 2009).
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