ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Dalal Middlemen and Peri-urbanisation in Nepal

In the rapid urbanisation of Kathmandu Valley’s periphery, the practices and logics of dalal middlemen are fundamental to the uneven transformation of land from agricultural to residential uses. Far more than just mediating urban change for personal profit, this ethnographic portrait of dalals illustrates their active role in producing an emerging peripheral locality through engagement with local demands, a detached state, and the growing interest of private capital.

Who Is a Terrorist?

Terrorism committed by states and their agents has been responsible for millions of deaths worldwide in the last two centuries. Yet the mainstream literature seems to be obsessed with terrorism perpetrated by non-state actors, and state terrorism remains an under-theorised and under-studied concept as compared to its non-state avatar. It is important, therefore, to critically look at the dominant discourse on terrorism; and the politics behind labelling someone as a terrorist needs to be interrogated thoroughly.

Bodies in Search of Freedom

One of the significant transformations in the political economy of rural Nepal is the gradual weakening of traditional forms of attached and caste-based division of labour. Not only has there been a diversification of rural livelihoods from land- and agriculture-based to non-agricultural- and non-land-based sources, there is also a growing and widespread mobility of labour within and outside the country. Research findings show that mobility of labour has not necessarily meant more freedom for poorer migrants, although the idea of freedom appears to be driving much of the out-migration from rural Nepal. For marginal migrants, the circulatory nature of migration does not appear to be as transformative as might have been expected: while life in the destination may well be urban and modern, their identity remains marginal, reflecting their liminal position. Despite known risks and suffering attached to work, a large number of migrants continue to be attracted to work in exploitative working conditions within Nepal or across the border in India.

Deepening Regional Integration

In a major bid to facilitate cross-border transportation and trade, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal signed the landmark Motor Vehicle Agreement in June 2015. Is this agreement capable of unlocking the huge trade potential of these countries and deepening regional integration in a region known to be the least integrated in the world? This note attempts to address some of these questions, reviews the salient features of the agreement and discusses the challenges involved in its implementation.

Nepal: Triangular Balance of Forces

A retrogressive royal coup d'etat has been executed in the country and an autocratic monarchy has been restored by nullifying the limited democratic rights won after the 1990 people's movement. Whether the parliamentary political parties would be allowed to function or not and the 1990 Constitution would be formally scrapped or not, is just a matter of convenience and expediency to the autocratic monarchy.

Nepal: A New Flashpoint?

It is not surprising that the Nepal government is eager to brand the Maoists as terrorists and tie its actions against them to the US-led anti-terrorist campaign and obtain arms and ammunition. The Maoists have become a threat to the monarch and the ruling interests, rallying as they have the hitherto dispossessed mainly from the depressed castes from far-flung rural areas against local feudal lords.

Social Sciences Research in Nepal

This paper takes a retrospective look at the evolution of the social sciences in Nepal in an attempt to assess research in the area. It reviews research in several institutions, that is, government, university and private research centres in different periods. It concludes that social sciences has been consistently neglected by both the government and other institutions and offers some suggestions on the urgent changes that are required to be made.

Nepal : Not By Force Alone

For the second time since 1990 an emergency has been declared in Nepal. However, unlike the first time, when the declaration of emergency preceded widespread changes in the country’s political set-up, this time it seeks to equip the government with extra-constitutional powers to wage an all-out campaign against the Maoist rebels, whose “people’s war” against the government and the constitutional monarchy since 1996 has claimed over 1,700 lives. In the past one week alone nearly 250 people, mainly policemen, have been killed in incidents of Maoist violence. This follows the end of the ceasefire and the petering out of the several rounds of talks between the Deuba government and the Maoists.

Unsafe Abortions and Women's Health

Although unsafe and illegal abortions claim many lives and severely damage women's health, international conventions on providing safe facilities for women have not had much success. A rights-based perspective on the issue.

Study in Transition

Building Democracy in South Asia: India, Nepal, Pakistan by Maya Chadda; Vistaar, New Delhi, 2000;

Calcutta Diary

India's big-brotherly dominance could be an objective reality in several of her neighbouring states, acting as a roadblock to the emergence of peace in the real sense with nations across our borders. We too will conceivably be victims of the conviction, unfounded or otherwise, that none of our neighbours appreciate our magnanimity and benevolence and that they have launched a conspiracy, jointly or severally, against us. The Hindutva stance will strengthen this belief, the defence lobby active inside the country reinforcing it further.

Women's Economic Opportunities in Nepal

Labour Market Development and Poverty: With Focus on Opportunities for Women in Nepal by Meena Acharya; Tauka Prasad Acharya Memorial Foundation and Friedrich-EbertShiftung, Kathmandu, 2000; pp 143, Rs 250.
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