Governing Families in the Social Investment State


  • Michel Vandenbroeck Ghent University
  • Rudi Roose Ghent University
  • Maria De Bie Ghent University


This article is taken, with publisher permission, from the Rethinking Childhood Series book: Cannella, G. S. & Diaz Soto, L. (Eds.) (2010). Childhoods; A Handbook. NY: Peter Lang. In this article the authors critically analyze the alleged “progressive” evolution from child protection (as a coercive practice) towards child welfare (as a preventative and empowering alternative). Using Michel Foucault’s frameworks the authors deconstruct the discourse on welfare and its vocabulary on ‘prevention,’ ‘children’s rights,’ ‘active citizenship,’ and ‘the autonomous individual.’ The reader is referred to the complete book for additional critical, feminist, post-structural, reconceptualist analyses on social justice issues within early childhood studies.

Author Biographies

Michel Vandenbroeck, Ghent University

Dr. Michel Vandenbroeck is senior researcher at the Department of Social Welfare Studies of the Ghent University (Belgium). His main areas of interest are diversity and social inclusion in early childhood education, parent support and family policies.

Rudi Roose, Ghent University

Rudi Roose is professor at Ghent University, Department of Social Welfare Studies. His main research topics are social work theories, social pedagogy and children's rights.

Maria De Bie, Ghent University

Maria Bouverne-De Bie is professor at the Department of Social Welfare Studies at Ghent University. Her main research interests center on forensic social work, social pedagogy and welfare rights.




Articles (Peer Reviewed Research)