On the Definition of Slavery
slavery, slave, definition, conceptual analysis, modern slavery, contemporary slavery, the 1926 Slavery Convention
A number of non‐equivalent definitions of slavery have been offered by historians, sociologists, bodies of international governance and legal scholars. None is clearly adequate. Here I review extant definitions of slavery found in or suggested by Lovejoy, Patterson, Honoré, Bales, Ingram and the League of Nations 1926 Slavery Convention, and argue that each is subject to counterexample. I then attempt to formulate and defend a more adequate definition, one focusing on consent, control, and the intentions of the slaveholder, and relevant for the present as well as the past.
Rota, Michael. “On the definition of slavery.” Theoria, 86, no. 5 (2020): 543-564. https://doi.org/10.1111/theo.12276.