Writing a Global History of Convict Labour

C. De Vito, A. Lichtenstein

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


This bibliographic essay seeks to contribute to the understanding of convict labour from a global and long-term perspective. First the conditions conducive to the emergence and transformation of convict labour are addressed by framing this coercive labour form within broader classifications of labour relations and by discussing its connection with the problem of governmentality. Subsequently, an overview of the literature is undertaken in the form of a journey across time, space, and different regimes of punishment. Finally, the limitations of the available literature are discussed, the possibility of a longer-term (pre-1500) and global history of convict labour is considered, and some theoretical and methodological approaches are suggested that could favour this task.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-325
Number of pages41
JournalInternational Review of Social History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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