• Parental Licensing as Harm Reduction

      Shields, Liam; orcid: 0000-0001-9272-1937; email: liam.shields@manchester.ac.uk (Springer US, 2020-10-17)
      Abstract: In this paper, I will argue that some prominent objections to parental licensing rely on dubious claims about the existence of a very stringent, if not indefeasible, right to parent, which would be violated by licensing. I claim that attaching such stringency to the right only makes sense if we make a number of idealising assumptions. Otherwise, it is deeply implausible. Instead, I argue that we should evaluate parental licensing policies in much the same way we would harm reduction policies. By adopting this critical perspective, we can see that there are powerful, but quite different, reasons to be cautious about parental licensing relating to our ability to minimize the harmful effects of mass-parenting in a world of minimal surveillance and intervention.