This study investigates the connections between opium policy and imperialism in Burma. It examines what influenced the imperial regime's opium policy decisions, such as racial ideologies, the necessity of articulating a convincing rationale for British governance, and Burma's position in multiple imperial and transnational networks.
Ashley Wright's Opium and Empire in South-East Asia is the latest addition to this growing historiography. It is a thorough study of what is now Myanmar and was once Burma that does much to further nuance our understanding of the complexities and paradoxes of the history of intoxicants in Asia. The new evidence of the complexities of governing intoxicants in this book makes it another significant contribution to the revisionist movement in the history of narcotics in modern Asia. (Professor James H. Mills, Reviews in History, history.ac.uk, October, 2016)
'There is now a rich literature on the British imperial opium trade throughout Asia, but Ashley Wright's Opium and Empire in Southeast Asia: Regulating Consumption in British Burma is the first one devoted specifically to Burma, and for that reason specialists will wish to engage with it. Her arguments are clear and convincing. She is deeply conversant with the now very rich literature on opium and the British Empire.'- Philip Harling, Journal of British Studies, 54, (2015)