Breaking History Podcast Episode 7: History of Smuggling in China with Philip Thai

James Robinson Discussion

Breaking History: A World History Podcast
with Northeastern University Graduate History Students

Episode 7: History of Smuggling in China with Philip Thai

Today we talk smuggling! Join us as were are joined by Northeastern University History Department Faculty Philip Thai, who is a historian of Modern China with research and teaching interests that include legal history, economic history, business history, and history of capitalism. At the core of his inquiries is understanding the complex interplay between law, society, and economy. He is currently working on his manuscript tentatively titled, “The War on Smuggling: Law, Illicit Markets, and State Power on the China Coast,” which uses China’s campaigns against smuggling during the twentieth century to examine the transformation of state authority and the larger socioeconomic impact of state-building. Professor Thai received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2013 and his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2000.

We talk about the theme of smuggling in China, how it fits into Chinese and World Histories, his journey from trade to smuggling, and his academic journey from being a financial advisor to a economics historian.

Books mentioned by Dr. Thai:

Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States Along a Southeast Asian Frontier, 1865-1915
by Eric Tagliacozzo…s_Porous_Borders

Contraband: Louis Mandrin and the Making of a Global Underground
by Michael Kwass…from_search=true

Industrial Eden: A Chinese Capitalist Vision
by Brett Sheehan…from_search=true

News item mentioned:
Chinese smugglers caught using zip-line for iPad/iPhone “shipments”…shipments-1410447/

Brought to you by the Northeastern Graduate History Association
Sound editing: Beka Bryer
Produced: Dan Squizzero

Music by Kieran Legg

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