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International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy Queensland University of Technology 2202-8005 The International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy is an open access, blind peer-reviewed journal that publishes critical research about challenges confronting criminal justice systems around the world.  The Journal is committed to democratising quality knowledge production and dissemination. Authors retain copyright and articles are licenced via Creative Commons to make published articles more readily available and useable. There are no APCs (Article Processing Charges). Authors can submit and publish at no cost.
International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy 7 4

On Innocence Lost: How Children Are Made Dangerous


This article explores continuities of despotism within liberal governance. It introduces recent government investments in the need to protect children from institutional and organisational abuse in the context of which loss of innocence is conceptualised as a moment in a biography, following exposure to violence. The article contrasts those investments with contemporaneous claims by the state that as other-than-innocent, certain children in its care are legitimately exempted from moral-ethical norms embedded elsewhere in the logic of governing childhood proper. The article turns to historical understandings of the welfare of children in the state of Victoria, Australia, to explore the conditions and the means by which children in state care came to be figured as other-than-innocent exceptions, rightly exposed to forms of authoritarian violence. Loss of innocence is explored as an enduring achievement of government in the context of aspirations to do with population, territory and national security.

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Pages:148 to 164
Section: Articles
0 citation(s) in Scopus
1 citation(s) in Web of Science


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Author Biographies

Victoria University Melbourne
Australia Australia

Jennifer Laurence is a research associate at the Centre for International Research on Education Systems, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Victoria University, Melbourne
Australia Australia

David McCallum is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Victoria University in Melbourne. His recent book is titled 'Criminalizing Children. Welfare and the State in Australia', published by Cambridge University Press, 2017.