Over the course of the half century from 1865 to 1915, the British and the Dutch delineated colonial spheres in the process of creating new frontiers. This book analyzes the development of these frontiers in Insular Southeast Asia as well as the accompanying smuggling activities of the opium traders, currency runners and human traffickers who pierced such newly drawn borders with growing success.
This book presents a history of the evolution of this 3,000 km frontier, and then inquires into the smuggling of contraband: who smuggled and why, what routes were favoured and how effectively the British and Dutch were able to enforce their economic, moral and political will. Examining the history of states and smugglers playing off one another within a hidden but powerful economy of forbidden cargoes, the book also offers new insights into the modern political economies of Southeast Asia.
“From a multitude of fugitive sources, Tagliacozzo brings a masterful order to the dizzying movement of commodities and people…” — James C Scott, Sterling Professor of Political Science and Anthropology, Yale University, USA
“Tagliacozzo’s erudite and readable account presents a new way of understanding Indonesian histories.” — Jean Gelman Taylor, University of New South Wales, Australia
About the author: Eric Tagliacozzo is Associate Professor of History at Cornell University. He is also the editor of Southeast Asia and the Middle East: Islam, Movement and the Longue Durèe.