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On islands, insularity, and opium poppies: Australia's secret pharmacy

Citation

Williams, S, On islands, insularity, and opium poppies: Australia's secret pharmacy, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 28, (2) pp. 290-310. ISSN 0263-7758 (2010) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2010 Pion Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1068/d5608

Abstract

Islands embody a contradictory geography. Although insularity has negative connotations, the related aspects of uniqueness, smallness, secrecy, security, isolation, and remoteness all have strategic roles in situating Australia's production of licit narcotics as an international success with poppy cultivation confined to the island state of Tasmania. Through the boundaries and dualisms inscribed in the discourses of islandness and drug rhetoric, the state's ultramodern manufacture of pharmaceuticals is contrasted with others elsewhere, including opium and illegal drug production. Their representations simplify the more intricate and challenging geopolitical realities that link this industry to transnational corporations, state and federal governments, their agencies, and various UN organisations. In a poststructural reading, the secrets of islands and drugs are suggested to comprise what Derrida terms aporia or impossible situations: Tasmania and its poppy industry are isolated from a global otherness yet entwine different peoples and places in connecting complex material practices both licit and illicit at multiple scales all around the world. However, these aporia also present new political and ethical openings with significance for island studies as well as for narcotics production and its regulation. © 2010 Pion Ltd and its Licensors.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Studies in Human Society
Research Group:Human Geography
Research Field:Economic Geography
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Health and Support Services
Objective Field:Health Policy Economic Outcomes
Author:Williams, S (Dr Stewart Williams)
ID Code:64112
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:10
Deposited By:Research Division
Deposited On:2010-06-29
Last Modified:2014-12-16
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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