The Legend of the Golden Boat: Regulation, Trade and Traders in the Borderlands of Laos, Thailand, China and Burma
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256pp. May 1999
The Legend of the Golden Boat: Regulation, Trade and Traders in the Borderlands of Laos, Thailand, China and Burma
Author: Walker, Andrew;
The Legend of the Golden Boat provides a new approach to the study of Southeast Asia’s northern borderlands. Based on extensive travel in the upper Mekong hinterland, it is a fascinating account of the lives of the transport operators, traders, entrepreneurs, and government officials. This ethnographic study is set against an intriguing background of war, revolution, and reform, providing one of the most detailed histories of the upper Mekong borderlands ever written.

Contemporary developments in the upper Mekong region are often interpreted in terms of the emergence of a trans-border Economic Quadrangle, characterized by liberalization, integration, and cooperation. This book seeks to go beyond this promotional rhetoric and explore the ambiguities and contradictions in the Quadrangle’s development.

For sale only in the U.S., its dependencies, Canada, and Mexico.
Anthropology of Asia

“A very valuable contribution to the future of area studies regarding Southeast Asia and other regions” —Journal of Asian Studies, May 2002

“Provides all kinds of new insights and relegates a number of existing views to the wastpaper basket....Walker has written an accessible and fascinating study with an eye for detail. Ethnographic observations and theoretical ideas balance each other.” —Pacific Affairs, Spring 2001

“Walker’s central argument is that the opening of a region like this does not necessarily promote liberal trade regimes, but it does offer new opportunities to tax and regulate commerce.... The argument is useful; far too many observers assume that grand schemes deploying trade as an agent of economic agglomeration will help boost the region’s competitiveness.” —International History Review 22 (2000)

Author: Walker, Andrew;
Andrew Walker is research fellow at the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University.



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