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Bonded Labour in Southeast Asia: Introduction

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The introduction of this special issue takes up the questions: Why ‘bonded labour’? What do we mean by it? And, why focus on ‘bonded labour’ now? Answers to these questions require an effort of definition, as well as contextualisation, of a phenomenon that, though long expected to disappear with societal and economic developments, has persisted or re-emerged in the wake of current processes of transnational migration and globalisation. The introduction briefly discusses longstanding theoretical debates on bondage in past and present Asia, as well as new insights derived from a Swiss research project focusing on ‘Contemporary Forms of Bonded Labour in Southeast Asia.’

Affiliations: 1: Bern University


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