Opium and Empire in Southeast Asia Regulating Consumption in British Burma

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-11-21
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

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This study investigates the connection between the regulation of opium and the exercise of imperial power in colonial Burma. It traces the opium industry from the British annexation of the Burmese territories of Arakan and Tenasserim in 1826 to the end of the colonial era, arguing that this connection was multi-dimensional. The British regime regulated opium to facilitate labour extraction, and the articulation of a rationale for opium policy was inextricable from the articulation of a rationale for colonial rule more generally. Evolving discourses about race invoked opium consumption. Finally, Burma's position in multiple transnational and imperial networks informed its colonial opium policy.

Author Biography

Ashley Wright will take up the position of Assistant Professor at Washington State University, USA, from the Autumn of 2013.

Table of Contents

1. The Fashioning of Opium Policy in Arakan and Tenasserim
2. Regulating opium in British Burma, 1852-1885
3. Race and the regulation of consumption in colonial Burma
4. Testimony about Burma at the Royal Commission on Opium
5. The Royal Commission and the rationale for opium policy
6. The age of international conferences, 1895-1914
7. Burma, The League of Nations and opium policy networks
8. Separation, negotiation and drug diplomacy: 1935-1939

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