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“Poppy Politics: Drugs in Afghanistan, Past and Present.”

Speaker(s) / Presenter(s):
Speaker: James Bradford; Hosts: Claire Clark and Horace Bartilow

Bradford will demonstrate that drugs — especially opium — were critical components in the formation and failure of the Afghan state. He will discuss how the country moved from licit supply of the global opium trade to one of the major suppliers of illicit hashish and opium. "Poppies, Politics, and Power: Afghanistan and the Global History of Drugs and Diplomacy" (Cornell University Press, 2019) breaks the conventional modes of national histories that fail to fully encapsulate the global nature of the drug trade by explaining how Afghanistan’s emergence as a major supplier of illicit drugs is tied to broader changes to the global drug market and international drug control. Drawing from his book, Bradford’s talk will explore the global history of opium within the borders of Afghanistan, how the drug trade is tied to the formation of the Afghan state and the future implications of drug production, trade and use in Afghanistan and globally.

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