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 Discussed:


News Items Discussed:


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


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