Sex trafficking is not a recent phenomenon. Over 100 years ago, the first international traffic in women for prostitution emerged, prompting a worldwide effort to combat it. The Politics of Trafficking provides a unique look at the history of that first anti-trafficking movement, illuminating the role gender, sexuality, and national interests play in international politics.
Initially conceived as a global humanitarian effort to protect women from sexual exploitation, the movement's feminist-inspired vision failed to achieve its universal goal and gradually gave way to nationalist concerns over "undesirable" migrants and state control over women themselves. Addressing an issue that is still of great concern today, this book sheds light on the ability of international nongovernmental organizations to challenge state power, the motivations for state involvement in humanitarian issues pertaining to women, and the importance of gender and sexuality to state officials engaged in nation building.
"Overall, the book constitutes a major contribution to the literature on humanitarian antitrafficking movements." (Gretchen Soderlund, American Journal of Sociology)
"This fascinating study of trafficking in women, primarily in Europe, addresses the dimensions of gender, sexuality, nationalism, power of states, and international social movements.... Highly recommended." (Choice)
"Stephanie Limoncelli's book is a must-read for understanding the historical nexus of states, immigration, and the control over sexual labor." (David Kyle, University of California, Davis)
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