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Modern Slavery

The Margins of Freedom

Authors: O'Connell Davidson, Julia

  • Highly original, the first to provide a critical take on the debate on slavery
  • This book demands of the academy—and human rights campaigners—a marked shift in direction. It advances the world of modern slavery studies and anti-slavery activism towards understanding
  • Author Julia O'Connell Davidson is a leading scholar of modern slavery and is regularly approached by the media to comment on issues such as prostitution, trafficking, sex tourism and child prostitution
  • This is an important and timely publication, with the UK and US currently working towards new bills and foundations to help reduce modern slavery. The Walk Free Foundation estimates that modern slavery affects more than 35 million people across the world today - making it a matter high on the political agenda
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Buy this book

eBook £17.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-29729-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £70.00
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-29727-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover £22.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-29728-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Providing a unique critical perspective to debates on slavery, this book brings the literature on transatlantic slavery into dialogue with research on informal sector labour, child labour, migration, debt, prisoners, and sex work in the contemporary world in order to challenge popular and policy discourse on modern slavery.

About the authors

Julia O'Connell Davidson is Professor of Sociology at the University of Bristol, UK. Her research interests include employment relations, sex work, childhood, migration, trafficking and slavery, and she is author of Children in the Global Sex Trade (2005), Prostitution, Power and Freedom (1998), and Privatization and Employment Relations (1993).

Reviews

"Passionately written, brilliantly researched and replete with powerfully logical analysis, Julia O'Connell book should be required reading for anyone claiming leadership in today's 'new abolitionist movement.' Modern Slavery and the Margins of Freedom establishes beyond dispute that today's self-described antislavery movement fails to address the fundamental realities of what slavery actually is and what is driving its rapid expansion all over the globe. Why, the book asks, do today's abolitionists focus so narrowly on certain forms of enslavement while utterly ignoring so many other equally heinous practices? The deeply disturbing answers to this question demand that today's abolitionists reexamine our beliefs and revise our basic assumptions." - James Brewer Stewart, Founder, Historians Against Slavery and James Wallace Professor of History Emeritus, Macalester College, USA

"In this boldly provocative and challenging book, Julia O'Connell Davidson asks searching questions of contemporary initiatives to end slavery and the mobilization of the idea of 'modern slavery'. 'Modern slavery', she argues, is less a clearly definable phenomenon than a site of political contestation over, among other things, what it means to be human. O'Connell Davidson rigorously calls into question the definitions being used by NGOs and other actors and asks whose interests are being served by the new abolitionist campaigns. The clarity of exposition and the humanity of the argument leave no doubt as to her own political commitments to justice in this latest moral battleground over issues of global inequality.' - Gurminder K. Bhambra, Professor of Sociology, University of Warwick, UK and author of Rethinking Modernity and Connected Sociologies

"In this powerful critique of the 'new abolitionists' and their limited vision of the meanings of slavery and freedom, Julia O'Connell Davidson draws on the rich literature on transatlantic slavery together with ethnographic and interview research on forms of labour defined by some as 'modern slavery' to challenge new orthodoxies. Ranging from discussions of the specificity of chattel labour in the New World to child migrants and sex-workers in today's global economy, she raises vital questions as to what it means to be a person, what it means to be free? 'Modern slavery', she convincingly demonstrates, should be thought of as a zone of political contestation rather than a thing, urgently in need of debate and analysis. Modern Slavery: the Margins of Freedom is a vital contribution to that debate.' - Catherine Hall, Professor of Modern British Social and Cultural History, UCL, UK

'Modern Slavery: The Margins of Freedom is a compelling and timely book. In this richly contextualized volume, Julia O'Connell Davidson charts the fraught stakes of framing the fight against human trafficking as a global struggle against "modern slavery". She delivers an incisive critique of the various actors, from NGOs to state governments, their political investments, and dominant discourses driving the popular "new abolitionist" advocacy campaigns. By connecting "modern slavery" to the historical forms of servitude that preceded it, Davidson's provocative study explores the liberal ideologies that underlie these public campaigns and fuel the unprecedented expansion of immigration detention and border policing in western democratic states. Modern Slavery is an essential read for anyone who wants to understand the complex discursive histories of the anti-trafficking movement.'- Edlie L. Wong, University of Maryland, US


Table of contents (8 chapters)

  • Imagining Modernity, Forgetting Slavery

    Davidson, Julia O’Connell

    Pages 1-27

  • Marking the Boundaries of Slavery

    Davidson, Julia O’Connell

    Pages 28-54

  • Slavery and Wage Labour: Freedom and Its Doubles

    Davidson, Julia O’Connell

    Pages 55-80

  • Mastery, Race and Nation: Prisons and Borders, Afterlives and Legacies of Transatlantic Slavery

    Davidson, Julia O’Connell

    Pages 81-108

  • ‘Trafficking’ as a Modern Slave Trade? Mobility, Slavery and Escape

    Davidson, Julia O’Connell

    Pages 109-132

Buy this book

eBook £17.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-29729-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £70.00
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-29727-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover £22.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-29728-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Modern Slavery
Book Subtitle
The Margins of Freedom
Authors
Copyright
2015
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-29729-7
DOI
10.1057/9781137297297
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-29727-3
Softcover ISBN
978-1-137-29728-0
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 250
Topics