To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Children's right to vote: The missing link in modern democracies

Structural, Historical, and Comparative Perspectives

ISBN: 978-1-84855-732-1, eISBN: 978-1-84855-733-8

ISSN: 1537-4661

Publication date: 12 August 2009


The aim of this chapter is twofold. First, we want to show how children and minors are fundamental in any consideration of the major issues and goals of economics and politics, especially with regard to the relationship between democracy, well-being and economic development. Children's well-being is a valuable goal in itself, and given that minors represent the long-distant future, it is also a measure of the economic potential of each country and the world. Despite its inherent value and economic importance, children's well-being is an issue largely overlooked by politicians, and the main theme of this chapter is that this is inevitable because there is no political incentive for politicians to address it. As a consequence, the second aim of this chapter is to argue that granting children the right to vote would provide the best political incentive, as well as the missing link in modern democracies. We propose some reasons as to why extending the right to vote to minors represents the full achievement of universal suffrage for a mature society, rendering democracy absolute and improving its economic potential. Parents, who already represent their children's interests in everyday decisions, should naturally be entitled to represent them in the polling booth as well, qualifying their participation in the functioning of democracy through their role as parents. We argue that this change in electoral rules would force politicians to consider children, pushing minors’ well-being to the top of all political parties’ agendas and prompting the market and politics to ensure a better allocation of resources between generations.


Campiglio, L. (2009), "Children's right to vote: The missing link in modern democracies", Qvortrup, J., Brown Rosier, K. and Kinney, D.A. (Ed.) Structural, Historical, and Comparative Perspectives (Sociological Studies of Children and Youth, Vol. 12), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 221-247.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited