Policy Press

Publishing with Purpose

Liberalism, Childhood and Justice

Ethical Issues in Upbringing

By Tim Fowler

Published

1 May 2021

Page count

208 pages

ISBN

978-1529201642

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

19 Feb 2020

Page count

208 pages

ISBN

978-1529201635

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

19 Feb 2020

Page count

208 pages

ISBN

978-1529201666

Dimensions

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

19 Feb 2020

Page count

208 pages

ISBN

978-1529201666

Dimensions

Imprint

Bristol University Press
Liberalism, Childhood and Justice

This radical and critical account of family justice explores children’s wellbeing and ethical issues in children’s upbringing through the lens of political philosophy. Fowler reconceptualises what constitutes children’s wellbeing, the duties of parents to promote children’s wellbeing and the collective obligations of state and society to ensure that children’s best interests are advanced and protected.

Arguing that the wellbeing of children should not be measured in terms of subjective happiness but rather by them coming to hold an appropriate set of values and aspirations, Fowler challenges the dominant liberal model of parenting and calls instead for all citizens to take greater responsibility for guaranteeing that children lead flourishing lives.

“Fowler’s arguments, which are numerous and well-wrought, are illustrated with intuitive and accessible examples. A pleasure to read, this book is terrific.” Harry Brighouse, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tim Fowler is a Research Fellow in Sociology, Politics and International Studies and a Lecturer in Political Theory at the University of Bristol.

PART I: Children and Moral Theory

1 The Aims of a Moral Theory

2 What is a Child?

PART II: A Distributive Theory for Children

3 The Currency of Children’s Justice

4 Welfare across the Lifespan

5 Priority, Not Equality, of Welfare

PART III: Perfectionism and Upbringing

6 The Case against Neutrality

7 Understanding Perfectionism

8 The Implications of Perfectionism

PART IV: The Rights and Duties of Parents

9 The Project View of Parenting

10 Distributing Parental Duties

11 Perfectionism and Parenting

12 Beyond Parents: Collective Duties to Children

PART V: Distributive Implications

13 Children’s Distributive Outcomes: Equality of Opportunity?

14 Paying for Childcare

Conclusion