India’s Unfree Workforce: Of Bondage Old and New

Jan Breman, Isabelle Guérin and Aseem Prakash (Editors), India’s Unfree Workforce: Of Bondage Old and New, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009, 392 p.

518AgOsVlFL._SY300_This volume makes a distinction between agrarian bondage as it existed in the past and the contemporary practices of bondage in various branches of the economy. It suggests that the analysis for bonded labour cannot be disassociated from a broader analysis related to the whole landscape of labour. The emergence of neo-bondage is strongly connected to the reinforcement of the informalization of labour relationships as well as the intensification of circulation and labour migration. Neo-bondage is strongly connected to the increased monetization of commodity exchanges and of social relationships, as well as the development of mass consumption. The authors do not accept the proposition that labour bondage is likely to disappear when economic growth is sustained at its current rate.