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At the beginning of this book, I highlighted gaps in the human trafficking literature. This included a fragmented and underdeveloped body of theory, a lack of knowledge about how conditions of human trafficking combine and work together in unique ways, and a lack of geographic comparison in how those combinations may vary. In order to tackle these issues and better understand the multi-faceted and complex context of human trafficking, Chapter 2 outlined an integrated theoretical framework that drew from sociology and criminology in order to examine the social, economic, and political factors that link the local to the global. These factors were identified by the human trafficking literature and included: globalization, economic and gender inequality, corruption, conflict, and migration. The integrated theories included institutional anomie theory, migration systems theory, and critical global feminism. Together these theories draw attention to the ways that historical processes of development and social change at a macro-level have impacted countries globalization and the dominance of the economy. These shifts have resulted in deepening inequalities and increasing rates of migration that work to make individuals vulnerable to trafficking. This framework was then applied across the geographic regions of Southeast Asia, South America, and Sub-Saharan Africa through the use of set-theoretic MMR.

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Unraveling the Impact of Neoliberal Economic Policy

Factors such as inequality, gender, globalization, corruption, and instability clearly matter in human trafficking. But does corruption work the same way in Cambodia as it does in Bolivia? Does instability need to be present alongside inequality to lead to human trafficking? How do issues of migration connect?

Using migration, feminist, and criminological theory, this book asks how global economic policies contribute to the conditions which both drive migration and allow human trafficking to flourish, with specific focus on Cambodia, Bolivia, and The Gambia.

Challenging existing thinking, the book concludes with an anti-trafficking framework which addresses the root causes of human trafficking.

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I start with these stories from the Trafficking in Persons Report. They are merely two accounts from a global estimate of millions of victims. The total number of human trafficking victims worldwide range from 24.9 million (Trafficking in Persons Report, 2019) to 40.3 million (International Labour Organization and Walk Free Foundation, 2017). The transnational and hidden nature of human trafficking makes accurate figures difficult to estimate. Nevertheless, human trafficking is considered by some to be the largest systematic abuse of human rights in the world today, and it continues to grow. For the purposes of this book, human trafficking is defined as: [T]he recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. (United Nations, 2000: 2)

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As mentioned previously, research on human trafficking lacks a comprehensive theoretical framework developed specifically for understanding and studying human trafficking (Gożdziak, 2015; Kakar, 2017). In fact, one review of the human trafficking literature from 2000 to 2014 found that among over 1,000 scholarly articles on the topic, less than 5 percent were based in theory (Russell, 2018). Fundamentally, theoretical understanding of the phenomenon of human trafficking remains underdeveloped and fragmented across disciplines (Limoncelli, 2009a; Russell, 2018). This chapter explores how theory from the fields of criminology, migration studies, and feminism can be brought together for a unified explanation of human trafficking. This chapter will demonstrate the important role that theory integration can play, as it draws from multiple theories across disciplines. These theories must link the local and the global, as it is important to understand the role of processes of globalization, including socio-economic and socio-political factors, all while remaining sensitive to issues of agency, gender, and culture.

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This chapter will explore the pathway to human trafficking identified in Chapter 2 using the case of Bolivia. This pathway indicated the importance of high globalization, high income and gender inequality, high corruption, and a lack of high economic dominance. That is, when these conditions combine, a unique pathway for human trafficking is created. The chapter begins by giving some background on the social and economic history of Bolivia, before exploring how high globalization emerged. The consequences of this in terms of inequality and corruption are investigated. The lack of economic dominance is teased out through the idea of neoliberal accommodation and the unique pushbacks against such economic policies that have occurred in Bolivia. The chapter concludes by summarizing how these conditions have come together to create an environment for human trafficking.

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This chapter uses process tracing to analyze one of the pathways identified in the previous chapter. Specifically, this chapter presents the results of Cambodia, whose fsQCA solution indicates that it is the combination of high economic dominance, high globalization, high income inequality, high gender inequality, and low social expenditures important in creating a pathway for human trafficking. The chapter begins by setting the stage with a brief review of Cambodia’s history. Following that, the historical processes are teased out to reveal how high economic dominance and globalization emerged due to Cambodia’s restructuring and dependence on foreign aid. This has resulting in increasing inequality and corruption and a weakening of the state’s role. The relationship such forces have with cross-national labor migration and resulting human trafficking are explored before concluding the chapter.

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This chapter continues the use of the comparative historical method of process tracing to analyze a third and final solution from Chapter 3. More specifically, this chapter presents the results of The Gambia, whose fsQCA solution leading to human trafficking included a combination of high economic dominance, not high globalization, high income inequality, high gender inequality, high corruption, and high state fragility. Together these conditions combine in important ways to create a unique pathway for human trafficking. The chapter begins by briefly outlining The Gambia’s history. Following that, the conditions identified in the pathway are unraveled historically to reveal how high economic dominance emerged due to IMF and World Bank restructuring. Yet a lack of economic and political stabilization meant that social inequalities were not improved and corruption continued to weaken the state. The relationship such forces have with cross-national migration, rural–urban migration, and human trafficking are explored before concluding the chapter.

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The goal of this chapter is to understand which combinations of explanatory conditions account for the qualitative differences between various pathways of human trafficking. The chapter is organized into three parts. First, set-theoretic MMR is described and justified as an appropriate analytical strategy. Set-theoretic MMR is a relatively new methodological approach that combines qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) at the comparative level and process tracing at the within-case level (Schneider and Rohlfing, 2013a). Second, the data and analytical steps of the fsQCA are briefly detailed to prepare the reader to understand the results of the human trafficking pathways. A more in-depth explanation of the fsQCA analysis, including calibration and tests of necessity, can be found in the Appendix. Finally, the third part presents and discusses the results of the fsQCA pathways before concluding with the process tracing that will be explored through the country-specific case studies in the proceeding chapters.

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This article explores transformational change in public policy through community-based governance and the collective design of experience-oriented policy and action. Using a critical-interpretive theoretical perspective, we derived three key lessons in achieving this change from the experience of Paraisópolis, a Brazilian favela made famous for its COVID-19 successful response plan, despite historical state abandonment and overlapping vulnerabilities. The three lessons were (i) proximity coordination, (ii) collective learning, and (iii) affectionate relationality. All three underpinned the principle of ‘community activism’ and ‘deliberative empowerment’, which in turn were both crucial in effecting democratic transformations. Through our case study of Paraisópolis, we argue that transformational change crucially involved civil society engagement alongside inclusive deliberative forums. This reinforces the need to pursue a policy research agenda attentive to sociocentric experiences, ordinary actors and the emotions and values underlying public action.

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Across Europe, welfare systems are being challenged by demographic changes and increasing socioeconomic differences. Voluntary work has been suggested as part of the solution, but the retention of volunteers within non-profit organisations is increasingly problematic. For the study on which this article is based, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 15 volunteers at a cafe with a socially oriented profile, aimed at marginalised people in Oslo, Norway. The aim was to gain in-depth knowledge of long-term volunteers’ experiences at the organisation to better understand retention. Four main themes were identified through the analysis: fulfilment, the mastering of tasks, influence and belonging. These themes can be interpreted as being associated with the satisfaction of the basic psychological needs of competence, autonomy and relatedness, postulated by self-determination theory. The study therefore provides insights into what factors are important in creating an autonomy-supportive work context to encourage volunteers’ longlasting commitment.

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