corvée labour


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

corvée labour

a form of labour required by a state, or state representative, often as a form of rent, taxation or other tribute. Various societies in history have exhibited forms of corvée labour. Wittfogel (1957) saw it as a particular feature of ORIENTAL DESPOTISM, distinguishing this form from SERFDOM, in which labour obligations are extracted by a landlord rather than by a state.