On Coerced Labor focuses on those forms of labor relations that have been overshadowed by the “extreme” categories (wage labor and chattel slavery) in the historiography. It covers types of work lying between what the law defines as “free labor” and “slavery.” The frame of reference is the observation that although chattel slavery has largely been abolished in the course of the past two centuries, other forms of coerced labor have persisted in most parts of the world. While most nations have increasingly condemned the continued existence of slavery and the slave trade, they have tolerated labor relationships that involve violent control, economic exploitation through the appropriation of labor power, restriction of workers’ freedom of movement, and fraudulent debt obligations.
Contributors are: Lisa Carstensen, Christian G. De Vito, Justin F. Jackson, Christine Molfenter, David Palmer, Nicola Pizzolato, Luis F.B. Plascencia, Magaly Rodríguez García, Kelvin Santiago-Valles, Nicole J. Siller, Marcel van der Linden, Sven Van Melkebeke.