Decolonising drugs in Asia: the case of cocaine in colonial India

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This article examines a drugs trade in Asia that has been largely forgotten by historians and policy-makers: cocaine. It will briefly trace some of the contours of this commerce and the efforts to control it. It will also assess how successful these efforts were. The article is designed to contribute fresh perspectives on recent controversies in the historiography of drugs in Asia to argue that the agendas and agency of consumers are central to understanding why markets have formed there for psychoactive substances in the modern period.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalThird World Quarterly
Early online date30 Aug 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Aug 2017
EventInternational Health Organizations (IHOs): The history for the future network - Shanghai University, Shanghai, China
Duration: 21 Apr 201622 Apr 2016


  • cocaine
  • Asia
  • historiography of drugs
  • colonial India


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