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Understanding Global Slavery

A Reader

Kevin Bales (Author)

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Although slavery is illegal throughout the world, we learned from Kevin Bales's highly praised exposé, Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy, that more than twenty-seven million people—in countries from Pakistan to Thailand to the United States--are still trapped in bondage. With this new volume, Bales, the leading authority on modern slavery, looks beyond the specific instances of slavery described in his last book to explore broader themes about slavery's causes, its continuation, and how it might be ended. Written to raise awareness and deepen understanding, and touching again on individual lives around the world, this book tackles head-on one of the most urgent and difficult problems facing us today.

Each of the chapters in Understanding Global Slavery explores a different facet of global slavery. Bales investigates slavery's historical roots to illuminate today's puzzles. He explores our basic ideas about what slavery is and how the phenomenon fits into our moral, political, and economic worlds. He seeks to explain how human trafficking brings people into our cities and how the demand for trafficked workers, servants, and prostitutes shapes modern slavery. And he asks how we can study and measure this mostly hidden crime. Throughout, Bales emphasizes that to end global slavery, we must first understand it. This book is a step in that direction.
List of Illustrations and Tables

Chapter 1. Understanding Slavery Today
Chapter 2. Slavery and the Human Right to Evil
Chapter 3. No One Shall Be Held in Slavery or Servitude: A Critical Analysis of International Slavery Agreements
Chapter 4. Slavery and the Emergence of Non-governmental Organizations
Chapter 5. The Challenge of Measuring Slavery
Chapter 6. Globalization and Redemption
Chapter 7. Human Trafficking: A Worldwide Concern
Chapter 8. Understanding the Demand behind Human Trafficking
Coda: Three Steps to Stopping Slavery (And Four Things You Can Do Right Away)

Appendix 1. Slavery Research Questions Used in Case Studies
Appendix 2. Rankings of Countries on Ordinal Scales for Slavery and Trafficking
Kevin Bales is Co-Founder of Free the Slaves, Washington DC, and Professor of Contemporary Slavery at the WIlberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation at the University of Hull. He is the world's leading expert on contemporary slavery.
“Admirably level-headed yet passionate .”—Adam Ashforth Times Literary Supplement (TLS)
"This is a unique book in that the author is both an activist and a scholar. Bales provides original research, and new, up to date information. The book is an important contribution in a field that can be either dry, or sensationalized. Bales avoids this with clear writing and organization, enlivened with examples drawn from life. The book lays out clearly the extent of the problem, and the scholarship is impeccable."—Suzanne Miers, author of Slavery in the Twentieth Century

"Kevin Bales is the world's leading analyst of modern-day slavery. The book provides a fascinating and powerful narrative about this troubling topic, and is extremely well-written and accessible."—Thomas Cushman, Editor-In-Chief of The Journal of Human Rights

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