Lecture to examine role of illicit trade in American history

Peter Andreas, a professor of political science and international studies and the director of the International Relations Program at Brown University, gives the talk Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America at 4:15 p.m. Monday, May 17, in  Pettengill Hall, Room G21, 4 Andrews Road.

The talk is sponsored by the social sciences division chair and the departments of economics, history and sociology.

The talk critically examines American political and economic development and its engagement with the world through the lens of illicit trade, from molasses smuggling in Colonial times to cross-border bootlegging during Prohibition to “cybersmuggling” in the digital age.

Andreas will look at the little-studied role of illicit commerce in the country’s early economic development and industrialization, westward expansion and international influence, including the East Asian opium trade and opium wars.

He will also examine how prohibitions and anti-smuggling campaigns have stimulated the growth of the federal government’s internal and external policing powers. The focus is on the clandestine movement of people (illicit slave trading, migrant smuggling, sex trafficking) and of goods (prohibited, stolen and untaxed commodities).

Andreas has written, co-written or co-edited eight books. Prior to Brown, he was an academy scholar at Harvard University, a research fellow at the Brookings Institution and an SSRC-MacArthur Foundation Fellow on International Peace and Security. He holds a master’s degree and doctorate in government from Cornell University and a bachelor’s in political science from Swarthmore College.

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