Robyn Linde

Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the International Nongovernmental Organization Studies Program, Rhode Island College

In this Book Talk podcast, host Gwenith Cross is joined by Robyn Linde, author of The Globalization of Childhood: The International Diffusion of Norms and Law against the Child Death Penalty. The book is built on a thorough analysis of data, and shows the radical promotion of childhood and children from their pre-nineteenth century status as legal non-entities to their current status as a highly protected and cloistered class of citizens. Linde studies the abolition of the child death penalty because it shows that there is no crime too heinous to revoke the status of childhood. Based on 143 cases, Linde divides the data into early adopter states; the cascades, where the norm is diffused rapidly; and laggard states that did not abolish during the cascades.  Looking at how this diffusion occurred, Linde emphasizes the significance of two distinct definitions of childhood: first that childhood is defined solely by age, and second that state has primary authority over the child. These definitions of childhood developed and expanded in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, which put an increased emphasis on the value and control of the state. This change also corresponds with the growth of the international society after World War Two, and how children became the face of international efforts.


About the Author
Robyn Linde is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the International Nongovernmental Organization Studies Program at Rhode Island College. She was awarded PhD in Political Science from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; Major fields: International Relations, Comparative Politics; Minor field: Human Rights. Dr. Linde completed a MA in International Relations at the University of Delaware and a BA in Philosophy, Religious Studies, Certificate in Women’s Studies, Indiana University-Bloomington. Her teaching interests and experience include: Global Politics, International Law and Organization, Human Rights, Comparative Social Movements, International Nongovernmental Organizations, International Nongovernmental Organizations and Social Entrepreneurship, First-year seminar: Human Rights: From Palestine to the Patriot Act, Political Activism and Social Justice.

Recorded June 2018