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The Politics of Slavery

Laura Brace

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Critically interrogates of the history and politics of slavery, from classical Greek philosophy to today

What makes a slave a slave? What does it mean to think about slavery as a political question? This book examines slavery and freedom as founding narratives of the liberal subject and of modernity. Laura Brace asks what happens when we try to bring slaves back into history, and into the history of political thought in particular. Looking at scholarship on both ‘old’ and ‘new’ slavery, the book assesses the work of Aristotle, Locke, Hegel, Kant, Wollstonecraft and Mill, and explores the contemporary concerns of human trafficking and the prison industrial complex to consider the limitations of ‘new slavery’ discourse.

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  1. Shining a Light on Slavery?
  2. Aristotle and the Strangeness of Slaves
  3. Locke and Hutcheson: Indians, Vagabonds and Drones
  4. Empires of Property, Properties of Empire
  5. Hegel, Humanity and Freedom
  6. Unparalleled Drudgery and Severe Labour
  7. The Subjection of Women: loopholes of retreat?
  8. Incarceration and Rupture: The Past in the Present
  9. Trafficking and Slavery: A Place of No Return
  10. Glimpses of Slavery


About the Author

Laura Brace is Associate Professor in Political Theory at the University of Leicester, UK. Her research interests include the politics of property, self-ownership and the social, sexual and racial contracts, and the political thought of Locke, Rousseau, Wollstonecraft and Hegel.

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