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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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Colonial Legacies

Colonial Legacies

(p.185) 7 Colonial Legacies
Empires of Vice

Diana S. Kim

Princeton University Press

This chapter traces the lasting legacies of the opium monopolies. It links the infrastructures they established for restricting opium's commercial life to the region's post-World War II illicit opium economies and harshly punitive laws against drug trafficking. The chapter also utilizes a set of historical photographs to dwell on what alternative visions of state power and perspectives on vulnerability are rendered visible by better understanding the colonial history of opium prohibition. In addition, this chapter dwells on what has become invisible and taken for granted about the power of the state in the realm of opium and drug addiction. It concludes by addressing the analytical and normative implications to understanding the colonial administrative state in light of its fragilities and reinterpreting bureaucratic discretion as a creative act of problem solving.

Keywords:   opium monopolies, colonial legacies, drug trafficking, World War II, historical photographs, state power, opium prohibition, colonial history, colonial administrative state, opium economies

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