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are raced, gendered, and sexualized while both operating and leading to a moralized
type of development or outreach in the name of combating the war on trafficking. This
antitrafficking type outreach, produced from a supposed position of privilege (as re-
hearsed through the rescue rhetoric 5 that involves “us,” EuroAmericans, saving “them,”
the backwards global South) reproduces a racialized morality 6 on multiple levels.
First, it produces the UAE (and other Muslim majority countries) as “hotbeds” of il-
legal activity including smuggling, terror, and trafficking, which legitimates EuroAmer-
which can be seen worldwide but which has particular ramifications in constructing the
of rescue or villains who should be criminalized. Consenting female migrants who may
or may not work in the sex industry are cast as villains deserving any fate that might be-
and classed lines. Women's perceived complicity in determining their status (one that is
assumed rather than based on actual accounts) correlates with the ability to script their
subjectivities into programmatic paradigms of “victimhood.” 7 A closer look at the de-
velopmentalist logic that undergirds antitrafficking initiatives reveals the production of
gendered,racialized, andsexualizedbodieswithinspecificlocalesbutalsointhebroad-
er construction of empire. The antitrafficking script, constructed within a development
framework, casts a trope of appropriate victims and villains which contributes to the
production of these very categories.
Four years of extended trips to the Gulf framed ethnographic research with migrant
men and women in the UAE (including sex workers, domestic workers, construction
workers, and others), as well as those that provide services to them, and assessed the
experiences of migrant women and sex workers, labeled as “trafficked” by the interna-
in Washington, DC interviewing policymakers and migration activists about discourses,
laws, and policies relevant to trafficking, sex work, and migrants' rights globally.
velopmentalist logicofantitraffickinginitiatives. BuildingonFoucaultian notionsofbi-
opolitics and biopower (Foucault 1978), I show how antitrafficking efforts, as a type of
development response in conversation with the “War on Terror,” have produced a kind
of “development discipline” wherein certain bodies need to be disciplined through de-
velopment efforts. I have found Mahmood Mamdani's (2002) concept of the production
of the dichotomous “good Muslim” and “bad Muslim” in the post-9/11 climate of dis-
courses onterror and trafficking useful in framing these analyses. Ibegin with an exam-
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