Étudiante-chercheure étoile May 2013

Sylvie Bodineau

PhD student in Anthropology
Université Laval

Award-winning publication: Figures d'enfants soldats. Puissance et vulnérabilité

Published in: Presses de l'Université Laval (PUL), Québec


"While most research on child soldiers is from a psychosocial perspective, the issues in this book arise out of the anthropology of humanitarian intervention and especially focus on the figures of suffering and vulnerability. My study is also built around children's rights in the context of intervention in armed conflicts largely dominated by political issues of peace and security. To a certain degree, the evolution of child protective intervention means follows the development of other humanitarian intervention sectors. But childhood imparts an important specificity since, in the western world, it represents vulnerability incarnate—a fact that anthropologists cannot overlook."

Focusing on an intervention sector that takes root in the western world rather than on an "exotic" population of child soldiers, Sylvie Bodineau's work explores recent anthropology. While there is no doubt that intervention programs depend on socio-political contexts, the study also demonstrates that stakeholders can learn from their experiences and modify their means of intervention based on practices. By shedding light on the ways in which the representations of childhood influence the means of intervention, the study should enable those involved in protecting child soldiers to better prescind the sociocultural perspectives.