Ominous Parallels and Optimistic Differences: Opium in China and Afghanistan

Article


Windle, J. 2011. Ominous Parallels and Optimistic Differences: Opium in China and Afghanistan. Law, Crime and History. 1 (2), pp. 141-164.
AuthorsWindle, J.
Abstract

This paper compares two of history's largest producers of opium - Afghanistan (2000-11) and China (1917-35) - to suggest that in both cases production was facilitated by: (1) A lack of central control over the national territory; (2) The existence of local power-holders; (3) Internal violent conflict; (4) The existence of a significant domestic opium consuming population.

The initial analysis is extended by introducing a successful opium production suppression intervention, The People's Republic of China (1950s/1960s), to suggest that the control of opium in contemporary Afghanistan requires the Government to: (1) Extend the state into isolated and hostile areas; (2) Facilitate a sense of self-interest in the Afghan Government and political elite towards opium suppression; (3) Facilitate a perception that suppression benefits opium farmers; (4) Strengthen the capacity to monitor opium farmers and enforce the law.

KeywordsOpium; China; Afghanistan; Drug law enforcement; Alternative development
JournalLaw, Crime and History
Journal citation1 (2), pp. 141-164
Year2011
Publisher's version
Web address (URL)http://www.pbs.plymouth.ac.uk/solon/journal.htm
Publication dates
Print2011
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Nov 2012
Copyright informationCopyright in all contributions accepted for publication will remain with the authors who are free to re-use their own material.
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