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Organizational Structure
Who is Who

Executive Board of the Network


Spyros Spyrou is a social anthropologist and currently Professor of Anthropology and Sociology, Deputy Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at European University Cyprus and Director of the Center for the Study of Childhood and Adolescence. He has had visiting appointments at the University of Vienna and Queen’s University, Belfast and serves as Deputy Chair of the Commission on Children, Youth, and Childhood of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. Over the years, Spyros has initiated, coordinated and participated in many research projects at both local and international levels. His research has been funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the European Commission, the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation and the Office of the Commissioner for Children’s Rights in Cyprus. Spyros published widely on issues related to children’s constructions of ethnic and national identities, borders and border-crossing, poverty and social exclusion, and qualitative research and co-edited a number of books (most recently Children and Borders with Miranda Christou, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and special issues in international peer-reviewed academic journals. He is currently an Associate Editor of the Sage Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies. In his more recent work, Spyros is exploring questions of knowledge production in childhood studies. He is a member of the editorial boards of the journals Childhood, Children and Society, Childhoods Today, and Wheelock International Journal of Children, Families, and Social Change.

Vice President

Madeleine Leonard is a Professor of Sociology at Queen’s University, Belfast, where she teaches a course on Sociological Approaches to Understanding Children and Childhood for the Doctorate in Childhood Studies and a special undergraduate option on the Sociology of Childhood. She is particularly interested in creative and participatory approaches to including children in the research process. She employs a range of mainly qualitative methods in her research with children and their childhoods. Her main research interest is in teenagers’ everyday experiences of growing up in politically sensitive societies, and she has carried out research into the experiences and perceptions of Catholic and Protestant teenagers growing up in Belfast as part of an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) project ‘Conflict in Cities and the Contested State’. She has also carried out research with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot teenagers growing up in Nicosia, funded by the British Council. She has a number of publications on children’s experiences of and attitudes to protracted political conflict. She is a founder member of the European Sociological Association’s Research Network for the Sociology of Children and Childhood and she is involved in planning and organising the childhood sessions of the Association’s bi-annual conferences. Her recent publications include two books: The Sociology of Children, Childhood and Generation, Sage, 2016 and Teens and Territory in Post-Conflict Belfast: If Walls Could Talk, forthcoming Manchester University Press, 2017.


Rebecca Budde holds a diploma in cultural science from the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder, Germany and is currently finalizing her PhD. She is a co-founder and directive committee member of the European Network of Masters in Children’s Rights which is to be merged with the Children’s Rights Erasmus Academic Network, to become the Children’s Rights European Academic Network. The network was established in 2004 by several European University representatives with the aim to establish Children’s Rights in higher education and to promote adult attitudes that recognize and respect children as subjects of rights with own opinions and views. CREAN is a European Union funded networking project (2013-2016) in which more than 30 universities and research institutes developed common teaching material, hosted two international conferences in 2013: Children’s Rights from Theory to Practice and 2014: Children’s Rights to Non-Discrimination as well as an intensive summer school program on the same topic. Rebecca Budde is a member of the CREAN steering committee and was responsible for the evaluation and quality assurance of the project.

She is the coordinator of the M.A. Childhood Studies and Children’s Rights at Freie Universität Berlin. The program was developed in the frame of the ENMCR and has been offered with rising numbers of international students since the academic year 2007/08. From the Academic Year 2016/17 the M.A. will be offered at the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, Germany. Her PhD is an evaluation of the development and implementation of the European Master in Children’s Rights, now M.A. Childhood Studies and Children’s Rights. It discusses the aims and objectives of the program, the students and their motivation as well as the meaning of studying the program for their professional (and personal) lives. As the program was new and unique in Europe in the first years of offering it and still is in Germany, there is an interest in knowing what kind of expectations, perspectives and future fields of action the Qualification of child rights experts through academia implies. Rebecca is also a member of the Institute for International Studies in Childhood and Youth (ISCY) International Academy for innovative Pedagogy, Psychology and Economy gGmbH in Berlin.

Forthcoming Publication: Antonella Invernizzi, Manfred Liebel, Brian Milne and Rebecca Budde (eds.): Children ‘Out of Place’ and Human Rights - In Memory of Judith Ennew – Series: Children’s Well-Being: Indicators and Research. Springer 2016


Nigel Thomas is Professor of Childhood and Youth Research at the University of Central Lancashire and Co-Director of The Centre for Children and Young People’s Participation. He was previously a social work practitioner, manager and advisor, and then a social work educator. Nigel’s research interests are principally in child welfare, children’s rights, children’s participation and theories of childhood. His publications include Children, Family and the State: Decision-Making and Child Participation (Macmillan 2000, Policy Press 2002); Social Work with Young People in Care (Palgrave 2005); Children, Politics and Communication: Participation at the Margins (Policy Press 2009); and A Handbook of Children and Young People’s Participation: perspectives from theory and practice (with Barry Percy-Smith, Routledge 2010). He is Chair of the Editorial Board of Children & Society, a Visiting Professor in the Centre for Children and Young People at Southern Cross University, and an Honorary Professor in the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at Aberystwyth University. Nigel Thomas is featured in the book Key Thinkers in Childhood Studies by Carmel Smith and Sheila Greene (Policy Press 2014).


Daniel Thomas Cook is Professor and founding faculty of Childhood Studies at Rutgers University, Camden, New Jersey, USA whose work focuses on moral configurations of childhood and the child vis-à-vis commercial and economic cultural fields. In particular, he explores the various ways in which tensions between “the child” and “the market” play themselves out in various sites of children’s consumer culture, such as advertising, food, rituals, clothing and media. He is the author of The Commodification of Childhood: The Children’s Clothing Industry and the Rise of the Child Consumer (2004, Duke University Press) and an Editor of Childhood, A Journal of Global Child Research. Along with John Wall, Cook is editor of Children and Armed Conflict (2011, Palgrave) and is sole editor of Symbolic Childhood (2002, Peter Lang) and The Lived Experiences of Public Consumption (2008, Palgrave). Currently, he is co-editing, with Dr. Erica Burman of University of Manchester (UK), the SAGE Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies, a proposed five-volume, linked reference resource which will bring together, under one cover, an impressive array of topics, methods and perspectives definitive of contemporary approaches to the study of children and their childhoods.

Founding Chair of the Section on the Sociology of Consumers and Consumption of the American Sociological Association, Cook serves on numerous editorial boards of journal and scientific committees of international scholarly organizations.

Previous Board Members

Allison James
Kristoffel Lieten
Christos Chrysanthou

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