Coercion, Cash-Crops and Culture: From Insurgency to Proto-State in Asia's Opium Belt [open pdf - 3MB]
"This thesis is a comparative study of conflict and opium in the Golden Crescent and Golden Triangle, focusing in particular on Afghanistan-Pakistan and Burma. It takes a state building approach to analyze the formation and composition of opiate-funded 'proto-states' in the two regions, with case studies on the Taliban and the United Wa State Party. Historic, political, ethnic and cultural factors are explored in relation to each region and proto-state case. The basic argument is that opium and opiate trade provided capital for the formation of basic state-like entities that conduct all the basic state-building activities as defined in the literature. What are often called 'insurgent groups' are actually armies of proto-states. What are often called 'insurgencies' are actually conflicts between infant states in areas that never contained nation-states. This paradigm suggests an alternate method to study these two areas: a method that emphasizes history and anthropology to understand the basic motivations and attributes of the proto-state actors."
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