© 2014

Sailors, Slaves, and Immigrants

Bondage in the Indian Ocean World, 1750–1914

  • Authors

Part of the Palgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies book series (IOWS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-v
  2. Alessandro Stanziani
    Pages 1-11
  3. Alessandro Stanziani
    Pages 57-67
  4. Alessandro Stanziani
    Pages 69-88
  5. Alessandro Stanziani
    Pages 89-106
  6. Alessandro Stanziani
    Pages 125-133
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 135-188

About this book


Slaves, convicts, and unfree immigrants have traveled the oceans throughout human history, but the conventional Atlantic World historical paradigm has narrowed our understanding of modernity. This provocative study contrasts the Atlantic conflation of freedom and the sea with the complex relationships in the Indian Ocean in the long 19th century.


British Empire colonial studies history India liberty slaves

About the authors

Alessandro Stanziani is Professor of Global history at the EHESS, France, and Research Director at CNRS, France.

Bibliographic information


'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