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Bookshelf Spotlight: Southeast Asia, Drug Use, & Trafficking


Featured Books

* Drugs, death, and disease: Reporting on AIDS in Southeast Asia
* Yaa Baa: Production, Traffic, and Consumption of Methamphetamine In Mainland Southeast Asia
* Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States Along a Southeast Asian Frontier, 1865-1915
* Trouble in the Triangle: Opium And Conflict in Burma
* The Golden Triangle: Inside Southeast Asia’s Drug Trade

Drugs, death, and disease: Reporting on AIDS in Southeast Asia


by Cecil C.A Balgos
Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, 2001

THE MEDIA tends to sensationalize AIDS, often focusing on the more scandalous aspects of the private lives of those with HIV/AIDS victims, without shedding light on the complexity of the contagion. Even when journalists get it right and take a more holistic view, they have tended to look at the epidemic in a one-dimensional way: as a public health problem, or as an issue related to the sex industry, drug use or military prostitution.

This book is intended to be a map, a guide, a tool for reporters who write on this and related health and social issues. It is helpful to others as well, including officials, policymakers, activists and citizens who wish to know more about an epidemic that is claiming lives, sucking up resources, and undermining the efforts of many Southeast Asian societies to provide a better life for their peoples.

Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism | Goodreads | Amazon | Google Books

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Yaa Baa: Production, Traffic, and Consumption of Methamphetamine In Mainland Southeast Asia


by Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy, Joël Meissonnier
Singapore University Press, 2004

The abuse of methamphetamine in Southeast Asia has become a major problem over the past decade. Thailand has been particularly hard hit: methamphetamine now impacts all sectors of Thai society. In the early 1990s, methamphetamine manufactures moved their laboratories across the border to Burma, and large-scale production began. The new cheaper product, yaa baa, or ‘madness medicine’, flooded the local market and spread quickly to the surrounding countries. Yaa baa from laboratories in Burma has been found also in the United States and Europe.

Singapore University Press | Goodreads | Amazon | Google Books

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Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States Along a Southeast Asian Frontier, 1865-1915


by Eric Tagliacozzo
Yale University Press, 2005

Over the course of the half century from 1865 to 1915, the British and Dutch delineated colonial spheres, in the process 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.

The book presents a history of the evolution of this 3000-km frontier, and then inquires into the smuggling of contraband: who smuggled and why, what routes were favored, 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.

Yale University Press | Goodreads | Amazon | Google Books

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Trouble in the Triangle: Opium And Conflict in Burma


by Pietje Vervest
Silkworm Books, 2005

In response to international pressure to eliminate opium from the Golden Triangle, Burma has announced harsh measures for all illicit poppy production. But the enforcement of the ban on opium will directly threaten the livelihoods of some 250,000 families in Shan State that depend on the opium economy. The creation of alternative livelihoods has not kept pace with opium eradication. A humanitarian crisis looms, jeopardizing the fragile social stability in the cease-fire regions. What alternatives do these families have for their survival?

This volume consists of ten papers first presented in draft form at the December 2003 international conference held in Amsterdam to discuss issues on international engagement with Burma through the prism of drug policy. The articles analyze the relationship between drugs and conflict in Burma and the consequences of Burma’s illicit drug production for neighboring countries. The latter part of the book widens its focus to place Burma in the international context of the global drug trade, and draws parallels with Afghanistan and Colombia. The collection takes an in-depth look at the long and dramatic history of drugs, armed conflict, ethnic strife, and cease-fire agreements in Burma and presents recommendations for a humane and effective response from the international community.

Silkworm Books | Goodreads | Amazon | Google Books

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The Golden Triangle: Inside Southeast Asia’s Drug Trade


by Ko-Lin Chin
Cornell University Press, 2009

The Golden Triangle provides a lively portrait of a region in constant transition, a place where political development is intimately linked to the vagaries of the global market in illicit drugs. Ko-lin Chin explains the nature of opium growing, heroin and methamphetamine production, drug sales, and drug use. He also shows how government officials who live in these areas view themselves not as drug kingpins, but as people who are carrying the responsibility for local economic development on their shoulders.

Cornell University Press | Goodreads | Amazon | Google Books

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