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  • 1. One 2011 search turned up almost 7000 publications beyond those in the public media (Gozdziak and Bump 2011: 9-18).
  • 2. IPEC alone increased its budget sixfold between 1999 and 2006 (ILO-IPEC 1999, 2008).
  • 3. Taken from the jointly published ILO, UNICEF and UN.GIFT Training Manual to Fight Trafficking in Children for Labour, Sexual and Other Forms of Exploitation (2009: 15).
  • 4. Like many post-colonial African states, Benin is characterised by what Bierschenk calls ‘institutionalised aid dependence’ (Bierschenk 2009: 349). This means that, in certain respects, the state is inseparable from the donor hierarchies that fund so many of its operations or from the subcontracted NGOs paid to implement them (ibid. Le Meur 1996, 2000). This, in turn, ensures that the state architecture, its pseudo-state elements and the political-donor- NGO class are all somewhat externally focused, with the consequence that ‘the political discourse is easily adapted to the latest fashion emanating from the West’ (Bierschenk 2009: 349).

As for poverty, it is important not only that Benin is poor but also that its poverty is intricately related to the global politics of commodity production, since cotton is the country’s major cash crop and main source of foreign exchange revenue. This renders the country and its hundreds of thousands of farmers vulnerable to the high (and dirty) politics of global cotton subsidies, with at times devastating effects for the poor (Minot and Daniels 2005; Alston et al. 2006; Sumner 2007; Eagleton-Pierce 2013).

Finally, with regard to mobility, suffice it to say for now that Benin’s many peoples have long been on the move. Prior to European arrival, the region was ‘a scene of mass movements of people,’ with groups moving to escape conflict, find better land or attain social freedom (Amin 1972: 66; Mercier 1963: 17). With the advent of colonial and post-colonial political-economic and social restructuring, these movements were replaced largely by ‘migrations of labour’ (Amin 1995: 29) which continued well into the post-colonial period (see Greuter 1984; Le Meur 2006). Crucially, although these new migrations were predominantly a male preserve, they were certainly not restricted solely to adult men. As Chapter 3 explains, the young in southern Benin are progressively socialised into the economic roles and responsibilities that they will have to adopt. As such, they become economically active well before the age of 18. Boys and young men have thus always comprised a significant proportion of the labour migrations that characterise Benin (Le Meur 2006), and all indications suggest that this continues to be the case.

  • 5. This was on the back of three months of preliminary, master’s fieldwork in 2007 and my previous work experience in the area.
  • 6. Although my research was comprehensive and the data gathered are very rich, it is impossible for me to claim that my findings are definitively representative. My research with young migrants was entirely purposive, and it is therefore possible that many alternative stories slipped through my net. Similarly, it is impossible to know whether my anti-trafficking site selection was ‘complete,’ as a study of such dynamic, fluid realities could involve literally an infinite number of research locations. My research would have benefited, I am sure, from greater access to the very highest echelons of policymaking, including donor ministers, senior elected officials and IO heads. It would also have been deepened by speaking to unelected individuals such as lobbyists and party donors who do so much to structure the field of discursive and political action without themselves explicitly or clearly forming a part of the field in question.
  • 7. I prefer the term ‘ideology’ to many of its alternatives (‘orders of discourse,’ ‘discursive formations’ and so on) because it retains its very political connotations. It is, as noted by the commentators in Zizek’s seminal volume (1994b), a very loaded term, and this is precisely why it is worth retaining. I use the term in the threedimensional way that Zizek also uses it (1994b: 11-18). His first dimension is ‘ideology as a doctrine, a composite of ideas, beliefs, concepts, and so on, destined to convince us of its “truth,” yet actually serving some unavowed power interest.’ This corresponds to the traditional Marxist notion of ‘ideology.’ His second dimension is ‘the materiality of ideology,’ which corresponds more to the Althusserian ‘Ideological State Apparatus’ (ISA) or institutional matrix enacting and preserving that ideology. His third is what he terms ‘ideology-in-and-for-itself...neither ideology qua explicit doctrine...nor ideology in its material existence.but the elusive network of implicit, quasi-“spontaneous” presuppositions and attitudes that form an irreducible moment of the reproduction of non-ideological [practices].’ That is, the lived expression of ideology in the subject positions of those who enact it. On this understanding, none of us ever live outside of the ideological, strictly speaking, while the ideological moment par excellence is the moment where one claims to be beyond ideology.
  • 8. Although Bourdieu does not reduce power to capital, he nevertheless sees capitals as forms of power and frequently treats the two as coterminous (see Swartz 2013: Chaps. 2 and 3).
  • 9. In Lacanian terms, this is ‘jouissance.’
  • 10. A strong case can be made that patriarchy and white supremacy are equally foundational, but the data I gathered during my research do not allow me to speak meaningfully to how or whether this is the case. Following Mills (1998), I accept that this is very likely an unfortunate consequence of the white, male, Marxist standpoint I inhabited at the time of my fieldwork, and I look forward to a further study that complements my own by decoding the patriarchal and white supremacist trends in child trafficking and anti-child trafficking.
  • 11. Peck makes a similar case in his excellent book, Constructions of Neoliberal Reason (2010).
  • 12. As indeed Mark Fisher (2010) and Jodi Dean (2012) rightly argue it would.
  • 13. The Fon are the major ethnic group in southern Benin.
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