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Wandering Dhamma and transnational fellowship: Addiction, aspiration and belonging among ethnic minorities on the northern Thai border


This article compares Buddhist and Christian approaches to the drug problem among ethnic minorities in northern Thailand. Government programmes implemented through Buddhist monasteries aim to construct Buddhist subjects and realise agendas of national security in border areas. Yet, they also offer development support and access to resources. Meanwhile, gospel rehabilitation centres provide much-needed drug treatment services while drawing highlanders into transnational spheres of Christian fellowship. Consequently, I argue that the relationship between ethnic minorities and the state can be defined in terms of aspiration and negotiation, as well as resistance and evasion, as has been previously argued in the literature.

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Journal of Southeast Asian Studies
  • ISSN: 0022-4634
  • EISSN: 1474-0680
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-southeast-asian-studies
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