Slavery as Practice
: Continuity and Rupture

  • Ara Karaboghossian

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


There has recently been a plea to better problematize the concept of practice in International Relations (IR) theory. This study attempts to explore (and contribute to) the merits of advocating a practice turn in IR. The thesis begins by exploring the practice theory literature to facilitate the elaboration of a specific practice inspired theoretical framework. It then deploys the framework on the slavery case to argue that a focus on practice(s) can help us better apprehend and explain both the discontinuities and continuities connecting the global abolition of slavery to a set of present-day practices commonly referred to as contemporary forms of slavery. By harnessing the slavery case, the objective is to illustrate the fertility of a practice approach in bridging and adding specificity to some of the more rigid dichotomizations and treatments of global continuities and ruptures. Ultimately, the hope is to eventually transpose the theoretical framework to investigate other issue areas. The overarching and longer term aim is to facilitate comparative studies to investigate and better apprehend issues of global stability and change – with a view to transforming our social world.
Date of Award18 Feb 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorIan Clark (Supervisor) & Peter Darron Jackson (Supervisor)

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