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Empires of ViceThe Rise of Opium Prohibition across Southeast Asia$
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Diana S. Kim

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691172408

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691172408.001.0001

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A Shared Turn: Opium and the Rise of Prohibition

A Shared Turn: Opium and the Rise of Prohibition

(p.28) 2 A Shared Turn: Opium and the Rise of Prohibition
Empires of Vice

Diana S. Kim

Princeton University Press

This chapter presents the guiding concepts, theoretical claims, and analytical frameworks that guide the book. It shows how colonial states came to ban opium consumption, a once permissible vice that they had taxed and justified collecting revenue from. The chapter reveals that the change was the product of longstanding tensions within the colonial bureaucracies. The everyday work of managing opium markets involved makeshift solutions to small problems that accumulated over time and escalated into large perceived challenges to the legitimacy of colonial governance. Local administrators played a key role in this process by constructing social, fiscal, and financial problems relating to opium, through their everyday work. The chapter lays out this argument in detail, while clarifying definitions of colonial vice, prohibition, and the state that the book uses throughout.

Keywords:   colonial states, opium ban, colonial bureaucracies, opium markets, colonial governance, colonial vice, opium consumption

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