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Researching Forced Labour in the Global EconomyMethodological Challenges and Advances$
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Genevieve LeBaron

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266472

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266472.001.0001

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Evaluating the Political Effects of Anti-slavery and Anti-trafficking Activism

Evaluating the Political Effects of Anti-slavery and Anti-trafficking Activism

(p.60) 4 Evaluating the Political Effects of Anti-slavery and Anti-trafficking Activism
Researching Forced Labour in the Global Economy

Joel Quirk

British Academy

This Chapter considers ‘what happens next’ once information has been collected. This in turn means focusing upon political activism. Drawing upon ideas and insights from existing works on social movements and advocacy networks, I consider some of the main ways in which ‘success’ or ‘progress’ have been – and, I would argue, should be – evaluated in relation to several recent high-profile forms of political activism targeting slavery, trafficking and forced labour. The principle argument that emerges from this analysis is that anti-slavery and anti-trafficking need to be regarded as one component of broader portfolio of practices, interests and ideologies, rather than a singular issue or civil society cause which is assumed to enjoy a separate and elevated humanitarian or bipartisan political status. There is consequentially a pressing need for researchers to made further efforts to help understand and refine the ways in which patterns of political activism and mobilisation can strategically target the underlying sources and conditions of forced labour, vulnerability and marginalisation.

Keywords:   social movements, political activism, modern slavery, human trafficking, forced labour, research methods, transnational advocacy networks

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