Over the last twenty years, childhood studies has challenged the schooled and developmental models of childhood. The children’s rights agenda has combined with academic childhood studies, to emphasise that children are and can be social actors and to seek ways to recognise and support their participation rights. For those who promote the participation of children and young people, there is considerable enthusiasm to involve them in all research stages—from research planning, fieldwork, and analysis to dissemination, leading to growth in what is often called ‘child-led research’. This article draws upon an empirical study of ‘child-led research’ projects, undertaken in Bangladesh, Jordan and Lebanon, for a critical examination of the meanings and implications of ‘child-led research’. In particular, this paper explores what counts as knowledge in social science research within contexts of generational difference and power.
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