Research Areas

Policy and protection of children and youth

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The history of contemporary public policies of childhood and youth is linked to that of the representations of the child, trying to show how these conceptions ground the reforms and the transformations of the legislative frameworks centered on these classes of age.

The foundations of modern policies for the protection, assistance and education of the infantile and juvenile populations are thus put in place between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, notably through the elaboration of a legal device that articulates a protectionist ambition (towards the minors perceived as being in danger) and a will of control (against the young considered dangerous).

The constituent parts of these contemporary policies of childhood and youth are studied through the local implementation of reforms in this area (institutions and devices that embody them in Geneva and Switzerland); the evolution of the legislative debates which inform them, at the crossroads of national and international influences seized through a variety of sources and media (parliamentary debates, specialized journals, press, international standards); the genesis of the categories of analysis on which they are based; professionals and experts who collaborate in its operation (magistrates, social workers, educators); and the reactions of the populations to whom they are addressed (families, children, young people).

Publications :

  • Droux, J., in collaboration with M. Ruchat (2012). Enfances en difficulté : de l'enfance abandonnée à l'assistance éducative (1892-2012). Genève: FOJ/SRO Kundig. Description et commande de l'ouvrage
  • Droux, J. (2014). "Le placement d'enfants dans le canton de Genève (1890-1950): genèse et fonctionnement d'un dispositif institutionnel, entre innovations et pesanteurs". In Markus Furrer et al. (Eds). Fürsorge und Zwang: Fremdplatzierung von Kindern und Jugendlichen in der Schweiz / Entre assistance et contrainte: le placement des enfants et des jeunes en Suisse 1850-1980 (pp. 207-221). Itinera. Supplément de la Revue suisse d'histoire, 36.