Freedom: the second peculiar institution

Rinaldi Semione, Juliana (2021) Freedom: the second peculiar institution. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis answers the question, “What is freedom from slavery?” Rather than pursuing this question from a philosophical or political position, this research takes the original approach of putting the question directly to key antislavery stakeholder groups: law enforcement professionals, victim service providers, and survivors. The result is the first collection of shared conceptions of freedom from across the antislavery field and the advancement of a composite definition of freedom.

This study utilizes Q methodology, which is novel but robust. The choice to use Q acknowledged and harnessed the power of subjectivity in shaping conceptions of freedom. Fieldwork took place from fall 2018 through summer 2019 at six locations in the UK and US. Qualitative and quantitative data was collected in research sessions with 73 participants.

This data supports four claims about freedom. First, free will is a dominant quality of freedom. Second, freedom is subjective, but not without parameters. Third, participants from different cohorts are often in agreement. And fourth, conceptions of freedom are sometimes correlated to local support service focuses. The definition of freedom advanced in this thesis is: freedom is having free will, or the ability to do things without feeling controlled, coerced, pressured, or forced to do so; usually experienced together with choice or resilience.

Detailed, practical recommendations are made for academics, the policy and practice communities—including law enforcement professionals—and multi-agency collaborations. The antislavery field at large is urged to move forward collaboratively on the basis of shared meaning around freedom.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Bales, Kevin
Gardner, Alison
Keywords: human trafficking, modern slavery, anti-slavery, antislavery, modern slavery partnership, human trafficking task force, freedom, Q method, Q methodology
Subjects: J Political science > JC Political theory
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Politics and International Relations
Item ID: 65619
Depositing User: Semione, Juliana
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2021 04:42
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2021 04:42

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