Children of a dying race: the development story and governing through race

26 November 2012

Late 19th century interest in new ideas about governing children, combined with the category of race as a core element of state formation, led to new interventions around children’s rights and limits to children’s life trajectories. This paper surveys public representations of early 20th century understandings of the ‘Aboriginal problem’ and notions of a ‘dying race’, and argues that this intellectual production underpins bio-political powers over the management and even continuance of the life of the child.