Questions regarding children’s moral and political status have received growing attention in the last years. In particular, it has been discussed whether children can be – or should be – seen as bearers of moral rights, and if so, which rights can be appropriately ascribed to them (Griffin 2002; Brennan 2002; Brighouse 2002). It has often been assumed that children should not be granted full autonomy rights or political rights. In recent discussions, however, it has been questioned once again how paternalism towards older children and adolescents can be justified (Anderson/Claassen 2012; Franklin-Hall 2013; Schouten 2018), and on what grounds these groups of persons are denied a right to vote (Clayton 2006). Furthermore, considerable attention has been given to claims regarding ‘child-specific goods’ and the ‘intrinsic value of children’, and the implications of such claims for questions of children’s rights and distributive justice (Mcleod 2002; Brennan 2014; Brighouse/Swift 2014; Gheaus 2017; Hannan 2017).


These various issues point to an underlying theme, namely, what a child ‘is’, how childhood is distinguished from adulthood, and what the moral relevance of this distinction is. Moral Philosophy and Politics invites contributions to this general concern and to ongoing and controversial discussions in the ethics of childhood as described above. Suitable contributions may address questions such as:

  •  What is the significance of the terms ‘child’/‘childhood’ and ‘adult’/‘adulthood’ in moral theorising?
  •  Should children be ascribed moral rights? What kinds of rights should children have?
  •  What is the justification – and what are the moral limits – of paternalism towards children and adolescents??
  •  How should we conceive of children’s political status? Should children have a right to vote?
  •  Are some goods only valuable for children, and not for adults? Is childhood valuable in itself, or only as a preparation for adulthood?
  •  What are the normative implications of views about the value of childhood for debates about, e.g., distributive justice or our moral duties towards children?

Papers should be submitted before November 30, 2018 and should generally not exceed 8000 words; shorter articles will also be accepted for review.


All submissions will undergo MOPP’s double-blind refereeing process.


Please note that this process is not organized by the guest editors but by the journal’s founding editors who will also have the final word on publication decisions.


The journal’s manuscript submission site can accessed here:


Guest Editors:

Holger Baumann & Johannes Giesinger (Zurich University)