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IIAS Newsletter 42 Autumn 2006



A housewife in Kolkata buys bhindi (okra) from her neighbourhood vegetable seller for her child’s dinner. In doing so, she may have participated in an illegal activity. Depending on how far back we want to go, the chain of illegality can be said to have begun with the Bangladeshi farmer who planted the vegetable six months earlier. Or it may be more sensible to start with the social ‘commodity chain’ of women who transport bundles of vegetables by foot and ferry in the early hours of every morning across the hundreds of legal and unmarked border-crossing points from Bangladesh into India. Crossing without papers or passports, they sometimes bribe border guards to let them pass. This is when the first ‘crime’ takes place.


Contents #42

2 Director's note: Taking over...
Max Sparreboom (Director, IIAS)


Underworlds and Borderlands

1 & 4 Illegal but licit Itty Abraham
3 The borderlands of legality Willem van Schendel
5 Beyond hills and plains: rethinking trade, state and society in the upper Mekong borderlands Andrew Walker
6 Smuggling and states along a Southeast Asian frontier Eric Tagliacozzo
7 Deep pockets: notes on the Indonesian cockfight in a globalising world Johan Lindquist
8-9 Hawala Roger Ballard
10 The illicit trade in small arms and light weapons Nicolas Florquin
11 The rumour of trafficking Diana Wong
12-13 Transnational migration brokerage in southern China Li Minghuan
13 Beware of the data Melvin Soudijn
14 Cash cows: milking Indian students in Australia Michiel Baas
15 When the Korean Wave ripples Roald Maliangkay
16 Crossing boundaries: Bangladeshi sex workers in Calcutta Malini Sur
17 Women and borders in militarised northeast India Paula Banerjee
18-19 The mysterious whereabouts of the cut-pieces: dodging the film censors in Bangladesh Lotte Hoek
20-21 Conflict and illegality as a way of life: the paradox of Burma Martin Smith


International Insitute for Asian Studies

23 Books received
24-25 A personal account of what I did during my stay at IIAS, or why I remained a cultural anthropologist Satoshi Nakagawa
26 Filming fire rituals in Nepal Bal Gopal Shrestha and Wendy van Wilgenburg
27 The resource curse: oil-based development in Central Asia Mehdi Parvizi Amineh
28-29 History and the inequality predicament David Ludden
30 A Manchad grammar Suhnu Ram Sharma
30 The lure of (prosodic) typology Bert Remijsen
31 Creating a database for Tibeto-Burman languages Katia Chirkova
32 Forest commons vs the state? Thomas Sikor and Tran Ngoc Thanh
33 International Convention of Asia Scholars 5
34 IIAS fellows
35 IIAS research
36-37 Announcements
38-39 International conference agenda