Playing for social equality

Lasse Nielsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    This article claims that the protection of children’s capability for play is a central social-political goal. It provides the following three-premise argument in defense of this claim: (i) we have strong and wide-ranging normative reasons to be concerned with clusters of social deficiency; (ii) particular fertile functionings play a key role for tackling clusters of social deficiency; and finally (iii) the capability for childhood play is a crucial, ontogenetic prerequisite for the development of those particular fertile functionings. Thus, in so far as we consider it a central political goal to tackle social deficiency, we should be concerned with protection of childhood play capability. This conclusion raises new insights on the importance – for global development policy as well as for welfare states’ aim to secure social justice – of protecting children’s capability to engage in playful activities.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPolitics, Philosophy & Economics
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)427-446
    Publication statusPublished - 1. Nov 2018


    • capability
    • childhood
    • play
    • social inequality
    • social policy


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