Global Opium Politics in Mozambique and South Africa, c 1880–1930

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The reach of European empires and of Indian Ocean trade networks drew southern Africa into the global politics of opium around the turn of the twentieth century, in the critical decades of its shift from economies of supply to regimes of control. This article outlines key processes and events concerning opium production, circulation and regulation within the colonies of Mozambique and South Africa. It aims both to situate southern Africa within the well-known accounts of the Asian opium trade and its suppression and, more directly, to demonstrate how opium figured in local colonial politics, conflict and social change. I highlight how official and subaltern actors shaped and responded to these developments and, in different ways, worked to benefit from them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-586
Number of pages27
JournalSouth African Historical Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2019


  • Indian Ocean
  • Mozambique
  • Opium
  • South Africa
  • cannabis
  • drug control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History


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