The Relationship Rights of Children
James G. Dwyer
Hardback (ISBN-13: 9780521862240, ISBN-10: 0521862248)
The book presents the first sustained theoretical analysis of what rights children should possess in connection with state decision making about their personal relationships which the state does in numerous aspects of family law, including paternity, adoption, custody and visitation, termination of parental rights, and grandparent visitation. It examines the nature and normative foundation of adults’ rights in connection with relationships among themselves and then assesses the extent to which the moral principles underlying adults’ rights apply also to children. It concludes that the law should ascribe to children rights equivalent (though not identical) to those which adults enjoy, and this would require substantial changes in the way the legal system treats children, including a reformation of the rules for establishing legal parent-child relationships at birth and of the rules for deciding whether to end a parent-child relationship.
· Combines extensive description of existing law with in-depth but easily comprehensible philosophical analysis
· Proposes specific and controversial legal reforms using model statutes • It has an international focus describing and critiquing the laws not just in the
The Case of Homeschooling
This essay is included in:
Political and Moral Education, NOMOS XLIII, Stephen Macedo and Yael Tamir, eds., New York: New York University Press, 2002.
An extended version of the essay is included as chapter six in:
Rob Reich, Bridging Liberalism and Multiculturalism in American Education
University of Chicago Press, 2002.
Religious Schools vs. Childrens Rights
James G. Dwyer
Despair over the reported inadequacies of public education leads many people to consider religious schools as an alternative. James G. Dwyer demonstrates, however, that religious schooling is almost completely unregulated and that common pedagogical practices in fundamentalist Christian and Catholic schools may be damaging to children. He presents evidence of excessive restriction of children's basic liberties, stifling of intellectual development, the instilling of dogmatic and intolerant attitudes, as well as the infliction of psychological and emotional harms, including excessive guilt and repression and, especially among girls, diminished self-esteem.Courts, legal and political theorists, and the public typically argue that families and religious communities are entitled to raise their children as they see fit and that the state must remain neutral on religious matters. Dwyer proposes an alternative framework for state policy regarding religious schooling and other child-rearing practices, urging that the focus always be on what is best, from a secular perspective, for the affected children. He argues that the children who attend religious schools have a right to adequate state regulation and oversight of their education. States are obligated to ensure that such schools do not engage in harmful practices and that they provide their students with the training necessary for pursuit of a broad range of careers and for full citizenship in a pluralistic, democratic society.