Trust in the Indian labour diaspora

Crispin Bates, Marina Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper investigates the role of trust relationships through a re-examination of the activities of intermediaries (recruiters) in the Indian indentured labour system of the Indian Ocean in the colonial era. A review of the utilisation of trust in development discourse and its applicability to the literature of colonial subaltern migration and to a specific historical context is undertaken. The paper demonstrates that informal trust networks are critical to an understanding of the operation of indenture, that the appraisal of their functioning and effectiveness necessitates the construction of a counter narrative to the ‘official’ archive, and suggests a new means of adapting the trust discourse to this field of study through an assessment of how these knowledge and information networks were disseminated and by whom.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-169
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Migration History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2021


  • India
  • Indian Ocean
  • Mauritius
  • networks
  • trust
  • intermediaries
  • chain migration


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