Ominous Parallels and Optimistic Differences: Opium in China and Afghanistan
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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 selfinterest 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.
Windle, J. (2011) 'Ominous Parallels and Optimistic Differences: Opium in China and Afghanistan', Law, Crime and History, 1(2), pp.141-164. Available at: https://pearl.plymouth.ac.uk/handle/10026.1/8866
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