Circulation and Governance of Asian Medicine

Volume 14, Issue 4

It is surely one of the paradoxes of medical anthropology that the industrial expansion of Asian medicines—a phenomenon of global scale and relevance by any measure—has coincided with a diminishing academic interest in Asian medicines, as the discipline at large has shifted its focus to mainly biomedical topics during the recent decades (Scherz 2018). Yet while research on Asian medicines may not have increased in quantity, it has certainly gained in quality, with a steady stream of important publications carrying forward—and, crucially, rethinking—Charles Leslie’s field-defining legacy (Leslie 1976). Céline Coderey and Laurent Pordié’s Circulation and Governance of Asian Medicine, the product of a multidisciplinary workshop in September 2015 at the Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore, is the latest appearance in this venerable line of edited volumes. It identifies circulation and governance as the two central practices that today shape and transform industrial Asian medicines, and explores their relationship with the aim of revealing the fluid and multiple nature of Asian medicines as mobile commodities.

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