Peter Andreas to explore history of smuggling in America

Brown University professor Peter Andreas will visit Salve Regina Tuesday, March 5 to discuss America’s long and often tortuous relationship with the murky underworld of smuggling. His lecture, “Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America,” will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the DiStefano Lecture Hall.

Andreas’s lecture will provide a much-needed antidote to today’s hyperbolic depictions of out-of-control borders and growing global crime threats. Urgent calls by politicians and pundits to regain control of the nation’s borders suffer from a severe case of historical amnesia, nostalgically implying that they were ever actually under control. This is pure mythology, Andreas says. For better and for worse, America’s borders have always been highly porous.

Far from being a new and unprecedented danger to America, the illicit underside of globalization is actually an old American tradition. As Andreas will illustrate, it goes back not just decades but centuries. And its impact has been decidedly double-edged, not only subverting U.S. laws but also helping to fuel America’s evolution from a remote British colony to the world’s pre-eminent superpower.

Andreas is a professor in the Department of Political Science and the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. He was previously an academy scholar at Harvard University, a research fellow at the Brookings Institution and an SSRC-MacArthur Foundation Fellow on International Peace and Security. Andreas has written numerous books, published widely in scholarly journals and policy magazines, presented Congressional testimony, written op-eds for major newspapers, and provided frequent media commentary.

Seating for Andreas’ lecture is limited and reservations are suggested. For more information, or to reserve a seat, contact the Pell Center at (401) 341-2927 or

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