Labour, Coercion, and Economic Growth in Eurasia, 17th-20th Centuries


The history of the forms of “free” labour is intimately linked to that of coerced labour. In this book, worldwide acknowledged specialists of Russia, China, Russia, Japan, India, the Indian Ocean, France and Britain show that between the seventeenth and the twentieth century, forms of labour and bondage were defined and practised in reference to each other. Labour relationships found their sources not only in the global circulation of models, peoples, goods and institutions, but also in market dynamics. Proto-industry, agriculture, trade and manufacturing experienced unprecedented growth throughout Eurasia. Mostly labour-intensive, this long-term growth put considerable pressure on labour resources and contributed to increased coercion and legal constraints on labour mobility in both Asia and Europe.
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Biographical Note

Alessandro Stanziani, Ph.D in history, Ph.D in Economics, is full professor at the EHESS and Senior Researcher at the CNRS (Paris). He has published about 100 articles and chapters and four monographies on Russian, European and the Indian Ocean history. Contributors include: Claude Chevaleyre (EHESS, Paris), Claude Markovits (CNRS, Paris), Simon F. Deakin (Cambridge University), Ulbe Bosma (IISG, Amsterdam), Gwyn Campbell (Mcgill University), Mary Louise Nagata (Francis Marion University), Pierre Vernus (University Lyon).

Table of contents

Notes on Contributors Introduction: Labour, Coercion, and Economic Growth in Eurasia, Seventeenth to Early Twentieth centuries, Alessandro Stanziani PART ONE: JURIDICAL MODELS AND LABOUR DYNAMICS The Duty to Work: A Comparison of the Common Law and Civil Law Systems from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Centuries, Simon Deakin Dutch Imperial Anxieties About Free Labour, Penal Sanctions and the Right to Strike, Ulbe Bosma Children and Forced Labour in the Indian Ocean World, Circa 1750-1900, Gwyn Campbell PART TWO: DEPENDANCE AND SERVITUDE AT WORK. LOCAL CUSTOMS AND GLOBAL DYNAMICS Factors that Shaped the Organization of Labor and the Labor Market in Tokugawa Japan: Kyoto and Central Japan, Mary Louise Nagata Contractual Relations, Tariffs and Customs in the Lyon Silk Industry in the Nineteenth Century, Pierre Vernus The Circulation of Commercial Manpower in an Indian Worldwide Trading Network in the Early Twentieth Century, Claude Markovits PART THREE: DANGEROUS TIES: STATE, LANDLORDS AND LONGUE DURÉE SERVITUDES Constrained Labour in Early-Modern Rural East-Central and Eastern Europe: Regional Variation and its Causes, Markus Cerman Rights and Bondage in Russian Serfdom, Alessandro Stanziani Acting as Master and Bondservant Considerations on Status Identities and the Nature of “Bond-servitude” in Late Ming China, Claude Chevaleyre Public Works and the Question of Unfree Labour, Chitra Joshi References Index


All interested in labour history, global history, economic history and area studies: China, Japan, Russia, the Indian Ocean, Europe.