Children born of war: a critical appraisal of the terminology

Sabine Lee, Heide Glaesmer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter engages with fundamental semantic issues that have been raised by researchers and those currently referred to as ‘children born of war,’ namely, terminology that refers to a group comprised predominantly of adults as ‘children born of war.’ Exploring the merits and demerits of the terminology, the authors argue that, despite its shortcomings, the nomenclature has stood the test of time, not least because the majority of CBOWs themselves report that it adequately describes their own sense of ‘who they are’ and what defines them. In addition, the commonly used categorisation of CBOW is revisited and the chapter explores whether it is still appropriate, given more recent advances in our understanding of the subject. Here, it is concluded that, while much of the original framework differentiating between four distinct groups of children born of war remains a helpful baseline categorisation, some of the categories need refining in view of the more nuanced understanding of the experiences of members of those groups that has developed since they were first established. Moreover, the authors argue for additional research focussing, in particular, on under-studied war-affected children at the margins of the currently accepted categories such as children of prisoners of war and forces labourers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChildren Born of War
Subtitle of host publicationPast Present Future
EditorsSabine Lee, Heide Glaesmer, Barbara Stelzl-Marx
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780429199851, 9780429576256 (EPUB), 9780429578366 (PDF)
ISBN (Print)9780367190132
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Modern History


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