PART I: Theoretical Perspectives

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There is nothing new or uniquely modern about exploitation. Yet this idea of ‘newness’ continues to dominate, with numerous exploitative practices drawn under the elastic construct of modern slavery and/or human trafficking. The image on the front cover was therefore selected not simply because it is aesthetically appealing but also because the kaleidoscope represents how this interdisciplinary volume has been drawn together. A kaleidoscope is traditionally thought of as a toy ‘consisting of a tube containing mirrors and pieces of coloured glass or paper, whose reflections produce changing patterns that are visible through an eyehole when the tube is rotated’. This creation of constantly changing patterns or the sequence of objects and elements illustrates both the issue of modern slavery and its perceived ‘newness’. The contributors interrogate the construct of modern slavery and anti-trafficking discourse which have dominated contemporary responses to and understandings of exploitation. Through providing insights and evidence we need to continue navigating a different path – beyond the racialized legacy of anti-trafficking and fears of modern slavery

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