The introduction sets out the main argument of the book and reviews the current state of historical scholarship. It argues that the revival of anti-slavery activism in the late 1880s and its continuation throughout the first half of the twentieth century was a result of imperial and humanitarian currents striving for international recognition. Slavery in Africa became a transnational problem which induced a wide range of actors to engage in strategic and often selective cooperation across national borders, based on a shared belief in their own advanced ‘civilization’ and in the moral legitimacy of humanitaruian imperialism. The introduction makes a case for looking at anti-slavery activism beyond Britain and emphasizes why transnational perspectives should pay attention to power. It concludes by briefly summarizing the six chapters of the book.
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