Two books on microcredit

  • La microfinance et ses dérives. Emanciper, exploiter ou discipliner ? Editions Demopolis, par Isabelle Guérin (IRD-Cessma, associée à l’Institut Français de Pondichéry et au Cermi)
  • La vraie révolution du microcrédit, Editions Odile Jacob, par Jean-Michel Servet (IHEID, associé au Cessma et au Cermi)

The two books will be presented at the Université populaire et citoyenne du CNAM, March 18, 2015, 6 pm.

Isabelle Guérin’s book will be presented at:
-Toulouse, on March 4, 6 pm at the Ombres Blanches bookstore (
– Nantes, March 17, 6 pm at the Institut d’Etudes Avancées (

[New Book] After Oriental Despotism, by Stanziani

9781472533395We are glad to announce : After Oriental Despotism. Eurasian Growth in a Global Perspective, By Alessandro Stanziani, Bloomsbury, 2014, 192 p.

More on the publisher website

The concepts of economic backwardness, Asiatic despotism and orientalism have strongly influenced perceptions of modernization, democracy and economic growth over the last three centuries. This book provides an original view of Russian and Asian history that views both in a global perspective. Via this analysis, Alessandro Stanziani opens new dimensions in the study of state formation, the global slave trade, warfare and European and Asian growth.

After Oriental Despotism questions conventional oppositions between Europe and Asia. By revisiting the history of Eurasia in this context, the book offers a serious challenge to existing ideas about the aims and goals of economic growth.
Table Of Contents
Introduction: The Scope and Aims
1. The Historical Dimension of Economic Backwardness
2. Beyond Asiatic Despotism: Territorial Power and State Construction in Eurasia
3. The Power of the Steppe: the Mongol Heritage and the Expansion of the Muscovy
4. Slavery and Trade in Central Asia and Russia
5. Nor Feudalism or Capitalism : Agrarian Markets under Coercion
6. Beyond Economic Backwardness. Labor and Growth in Eurasia in the Long Nineteenth Century Conclusion : Russia in a Globalizing World Bibliography Index
“By revisiting the history of Russia and Eurasia in the context of global history, Stanziani is successful in breaking a number of our preconceptions. Indispensable for those who are keen to reconsider the conventional narrative and understanding of the history of the world.” – Haneda Masashi, Professor of History, University of Tokyo, Japan

“After Oriental Despotism is a fascinating and ground-breaking study of human bondage in Russia and Central Asia… This is a pioneering study of Russian serfdom in Eurasian context.” – Elise Wirtschafter, Professor of History, California State Polytechnic University, USA

“A wide ranging account that links power and the perception of power to the historical dynamics of Eurasian societies from the sixteenth century. Alessandro Stanziani is particularly instructive on labour controls and the related relationship between coercion and economic growth. An important work.” – Jeremy Black MBE, Professor of History at the University of Exeter, UK and author of Beyond the Military Revolution: War in the Seventeenth-Century World and War in the Eighteenth-Century World

“At a moment when some of the most repressive regimes see the fastest economic growth, it is time to revisit our cherished notions about the connections between freedom and economic development, between democracy and capitalism. To do so, Stanziani disentangles the economic history of Russia during the past few centuries — usually considered to be exhibit A in any accounts of backwardness–and finds that its economic performance was much better than we have been led to believe and that it succeeded on the back of particularly coercive forms of labor mobilization, and autocratic political institutions. The disconcerting lesson of this path-breaking book is that economic growth can take on many different forms, and be channeled by very different institutions. Freedom, democracy and liberal institutions are neither a precondition for modern economic growth nor an automatic outcome of it. A must read for anyone interested in global economic history.” – Sven Beckert, Laird Bell Professor of History, Harvard University, USA and author of Empire of Cotton: The Global Origins of Modern Capitalism (2014)
– See more at:

[New Book] Sailors, Slaves, and Immigrants, by Stanziani

9781137448453We are glad to announce the publication of Sailors, Slaves, and immigrants. Bondage in the Indian Ocean World, 1750-1914, by Alessandro Stanziani (Palgrave McMillan, Sept. 2014)

see on the publisher’s webpage


Slaves, convicts, indentured immigrants, and unfree seamen have traveled the world’s oceans at many times and places throughout human history. Across the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, this bondage took divergent forms and exhibited a range of historical dynamics. In spite of this variety, the conventional Atlantic World historical paradigm has largely shaped our understanding of modernity as being defined by exploration and discovery, European dominance, global capitalism, and the transition from slavery to free labor. Not only does this perspective evince a Eurocentric emphasis on the ‘uniqueness’ of the West, but it is increasingly contested even for the Atlantic itself. This provocative study contrasts the romantic conflation of freedom and the sea with the complex labor relationships of seamen, slaves, and immigrants in the Indian Ocean during the long nineteenth century. In the process, it advances a new framework for understanding labor, bondage, and modernization.


1. Colonial Studies, Area Studies, and the Historical Meaning of the Indian Ocean
2. Seamen in France and the French Empire: Heirs to the Galley Slave or Forerunners of the Social Security System?
3. Sailors in the British Empire
4. Slaveries and Emancipation
5. Immigrants and Planters in the Reunion Island
6. From British Servants to Indentured Immigrants: The Case of Mauritius


‘Stanziani’s important study demonstrates that even those nations that struggled against slavery accepted major limits on the freedom of labor. He makes clear that both in the Indian Ocean and elsewhere, on land and sea, most laboring men and women were in some ways bound.’ – Martin Klein, Professor Emeritus of African Studies, University of Toronto, Canada’

This is a highly original, provocative, and powerfully argued book that brings together a number of vibrant and dynamic historiographical debates. Stanziani successfully challenges a number of ideas on sea bound labor that derive from the existing scholarship’s exaggerated focus on the Atlantic Ocean. He convincingly shows that in the world of the Indian Ocean there was no clear passage from slavery to wage labor but rather the coexistence of different forms of bondage, dependence and servitude. A highly welcomed contribution to the burgeoning field of global labor history.’ – Andreas Eckert, Professor and Chair of African History, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany

Publication DateSeptember 2014
FormatsHardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF)
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
SeriesPalgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies

[Books] Announcing “Bondage” by A. Stanziani

Alessandro Stanziani just published Bondage. Labor and Rights in Eurasia from the Sixteenth to the Early Twentieth Centuries. New York, Oxford : Berghahn, (International Studies in Social History Volume 24), 2014, 258 p.

“For the first time, this book provides the global history of labor in Central Eurasia, Russia, Europe, and the Indian Ocean between the sixteenth and the twentieth centuries. It contests common views on free and unfree labor, and compares the latter to many Western countries where wage conditions resembled those of domestic servants. This gave rise to extreme forms of dependency in the colonies, not only under slavery, but also afterwards in form of indentured labor in the Indian Ocean and obligatory labor in Africa. The author shows that unfree labor and forms of economic coercion were perfectly compatible with market development and capitalism, proven by the consistent economic growth that took place all over Eurasia between the seventeenth and the nineteenth centuries. This growth was labor intensive: commercial expansion, transformations in agriculture, and the first industrial revolution required more labor, not less. Finally, Stanziani demonstrates that this world did not collapse after the French Revolution or the British industrial revolution, as is commonly assumed, but instead between 1870 and 1914, with the second industrial revolution and the rise of the welfare state.”

Preview on Google Books / Full pdf cover

Table of contents



The Scope and Main Argument of this Book
The Legal Status and Rights of Labor in Russia and Europe
Serfdom in a Comparative Perspective
Global, Local, Imperial: Scales of Analysis

Part I. Bondage Imagined

Chapter 1. Second Serfdom and Wage Earners in European and Russian Thought from the Enlightenment to the Mid-nineteenth Century
The Eighteenth Century: Forced Labor between Reform and Revolution
Enlightenment and Serfdom in Russia
The Proletarians Are the Real Serfs: Utopian Socialism, Christian Socialism, and Radical Thought
Chapter 2. Poor Laws, Management, and Labor Control in Russia and Britain, or the History of the Bentham Brothers in Russia
A Global History of Labor Control: The Case of the Bentham Brothers in Russia
Estate Organization in Russia: Instruktsiia, or How to Supervise the Supervisor
Controlling Labor: Paupers and Servants in Britain
The Fate of Bentham’s Panopticon: Labor Organization in Nineteenth-century Britain and Russia

Part II. The Architecture of Bondage: Slaves and Serfs in Central Asia and Russia

Chapter 3. Slavery and Bondage in Central Asia and Russia from the Fourteenth to the Nineteenth Century
Kholopy: Slaves, Serfs, or Indentured Servants?
War Captives at a Crossroads of Empires
Slavery in Central Eurasia: Its Estimation and Overall Interpretation
Chapter 4. The Institutions of Serfdom
Property Rules and the Legal Status of Russian Peasantry
Changing Legal Status: Administrative Procedure or Court Proceedings
Peasants in Town
Conclusion: Legal Status and Economic Dynamism in Imperial Russia
Chapter 5. Labor and Dependence on Russian Estates
Proto-Industry, Trade, and Growth in the Eighteenth Century
From Peasant-masters to Peasant-workers? (1800–1861)
Toward a Reassessment of Second Serfdom in Eastern Europe

Part III. Old Bondage, New Practices: A Comparative View of the Russian, European, and Indian Ocean Worlds

Chapter 6. The Persistent Servant: Labor, Rules, and Social Hierarchies in France and Britain from the Seventeenth to the Nineteenth Century
Labor Constraints in England
A French Exception?
Chapter 7. Bondage across the Ocean. Indentured Labor in the Indian Ocean
The Main Argument
Forms of Bondage in the Indian Ocean
Forced Migration Across the Oceans: Convicts
The Invention of Engagisme
Engagés from Asia and Africa in the Indian Ocean in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
Engagisme after Slavery
From Servants to Indentured Immigrants: The Case of Mauritius
Toward a New World?
Conclusion. The Collapse and Resurgence of Bondage
Collective Bargaining and the “New” Labor Contract in Western Countries
Population, Migration, and Labor, 1870–1914
Russian Growth: From Serfdom to Bondage?

Printed Documents
Selected Bibliography

Announcing “The Sugar Plantation in India and Indonesia Industrial Production, 1770–2010”

Ulbe Bosma just realesed his new book entitled The Sugar Plantation in India and Indonesia, Industrial Production, 1770–2010

Cambridge UP, 2013

Description :

“European markets almost exclusively relied on Caribbean sugar produced by slave labor until abolitionist campaigns began around 1800. Thereafter, importing Asian sugar and transferring plantation production to Asia became a serious option for the Western world. In this book, Ulbe Bosma details how the British and Dutch introduced the sugar plantation model in Asia and refashioned it over time. Although initial attempts by British planters in India failed, the Dutch colonial administration was far more successful in Java, where it introduced in 1830 a system of forced cultivation that tied local peasant production to industrial manufacturing. A century later, India adopted the Java model in combination with farmers’ cooperatives rather than employing coercive measures. Cooperatives did not prevent industrial sugar production from exploiting small farmers and cane cutters, however, and Bosma finds that much of modern sugar production in Asia resembles the abuses of labor by the old plantation systems of the Caribbean.

Uses fresh archival material to produce new insights into the histories of industrialization of sugar production of the largest sugar producers in Asia in the early twentieth century
Gives a long-term analysis of how peasant economics in Asia were mobilized to produce for the global market
Combines a broad global perspective with comparative analysis of rural change”

Debt and Slavery in the Mediterranean and Atlantic Worlds [New !]

stanzWe are proud to announce the publication of Debt and Slavery in the Mediterranean and Atlantic Worlds, edited by Alessandro Stanziani and Gwyn Campbell (Publisher’s page)

Campbell, Gwyn & Stanziani, Alessandro (eds). Debt and Slavery in the Mediterranean and Atlantic Worlds. London: Pickering & Chatto Pub., 2013, 208 p.

“Slavery casts a long shadow over human history. Though, historically, the chief mechanism of slavery was seen as violent abduction, this view is being adjusted to recognize the importance of financial indebtedness in creating and sustaining human bondage. Filling a significant gap in the historiography, the essays in this volume show that debt slavery has played a crucial role in the economic history of numerous societies which continues even today.

Full introduction available on Scribd

Table of contents :

Introduction – Alessandro Stanziani and Gwyn Campbell

1 Debt Bondage and Chattel Slavery in Early Rome – Marc Kleijwegt

2 Slavery, Debt and Bondage: The Mediterranean and the Eurasia Connection, from the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century – Alessandro Stanziani

3 Clientship, Social Indebtedness and State-Controlled Emancipation of Africans in the Late Ottoman Empire – Michael Ferguson

4 Pawnship and Seizure for Debt during the Era of the Slave Trade – Paul E. Lovejoy

5 The Business of ‘Trust’ and the Enslavement of Yoruba Women and Children for Debt – Olatunji Ojo

6 The Africanization of the Workforce in English America – Russell R. Menard

7 Credit, Captives, Collateral and Currencies: Debt, Slavery, and the Financing of the Atlantic World – Joseph C. Miller

8 Unpayable Debts: Reinventing Bonded Labour through Legal Freedom in Nineteenth-Century Brazil – Henrique Espada Lima

9 Indigenous Debt and the Spirit of Colonial Capitalism: Debt, Taxes and the Cash-Crop Economy in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 1898–1956 – Steven Serels

Labour, Coercion, and Economic Growth in Eurasia, 17th-20th Centuries


 Labour, Coercion, and Economic Growth in Eurasia, 17th-20th Centuries [2012].

 Edited by Alessandro Stanziani, EHESS and CNRS



(To read the introduction of the book, follow this link)


The history of the forms of “free” labour is intimately linked to that of coerced labour. In this book, worldwide acknowledged specialists of Russia, China, Russia, Japan, India, the Indian Ocean, France and Britain show that between the seventeenth and the twentieth century, forms of labour and bondage were defined and practised in reference to each other. Labour relationships found their sources not only in the global circulation of models, peoples, goods and institutions, but also in market dynamics. Proto-industry, agriculture, trade and manufacturing experienced unprecedented growth throughout Eurasia. Mostly labour-intensive, this long-term growth put considerable pressure on labour resources and contributed to increased coercion and legal constraints on labour mobility in both Asia and Europe.

Table of contents

Notes on Contributors

Introduction: Labour, Coercion, and Economic Growth in Eurasia, Seventeenth to Early Twentieth centuries, Alessandro Stanziani

PART ONE: JURIDICAL MODELS AND LABOUR DYNAMICSThe Duty to Work: A Comparison of the Common Law and Civil Law Systems from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Centuries, Simon DeakinDutch Imperial Anxieties About Free Labour, Penal Sanctions and the Right to Strike, Ulbe BosmaChildren and Forced Labour in the Indian Ocean World, Circa 1750-1900, Gwyn Campbell

PART TWO: DEPENDANCE AND SERVITUDE AT WORK. LOCAL CUSTOMS AND GLOBAL DYNAMICSFactors that Shaped the Organization of Labor and the Labor Market in Tokugawa Japan: Kyoto and Central Japan, Mary Louise Nagata
Contractual Relations, Tariffs and Customs in the Lyon Silk Industry in the Nineteenth Century, Pierre Vernus
The Circulation of Commercial Manpower in an Indian Worldwide Trading Network in the Early Twentieth Century, Claude Markovits

Constrained Labour in Early-Modern Rural East-Central and Eastern Europe: Regional Variation and its Causes, Markus Cerman
Rights and Bondage in Russian Serfdom, Alessandro Stanziani
Acting as Master and Bondservant Considerations on Status Identities and the Nature of “Bond-servitude” in Late Ming China, Claude Chevaleyre
Public Works and the Question of Unfree Labour, Chitra Joshi