Overview for The Political Economy of Land, Landlessness and Migration in Nepal
Migration in Nepal is a brilliant example of ingenious research based on varied frontier migration experiences and migrants' adaptations in Nepal. Nanda Shrestha here aspires to describe, understand and explain the various facets of frontier migration, focussing on landlessness, near landlessness and spontaneous settlement among hill migrants in the Terai of Nepal. Extremely critical of the so called development or foreign aid scenario in Nepal which has "mesmerized the restless Nepali intellectuals into submission to the reality of consumerism and family subsistence", Shrestha discusses how land forms the axis of Nepalese local as well as national development. The book begins with a general introduction to the Nepalese agrarian economy and a theoretical treatment of migration in relation to social relations of production and uneven development. Shrestha then provides a historical analysis of the external migration and underdevelopment in Nepal, focussing on various state policies and the policy of the British Gurkha recruitment. He then presents a theory of landlessness and near landlessness in agrarian societies alongwith a macro-scale investigation of landless and near landlessness in Nepal. Exploring the origin and changes in the frontier land colonization policy, Dr. Shrestha emphasises role played by the patrimonial state in the formation of this policy under the pretext of land distribution to the landless and disadvantaged peasants and economic planning. Here Dr. Shrestha also traces the evolution of land settlement in the Terai on the basis of his field survey and at length discusses hill residents' frontier migration to this region in the contemporary context. The books ends with an exhaustive analysis of how Nepal's patrimonial state has played the politics with the Terai land, leading to a rapid spread of spontaneous settlement throughout the region. He also speculates the prospects of migrant peasant-based agrarian revolution in Nepal and asserts that growing spontaneous settlement is a hindrance to such a revolution.
Nanda R. Shrestha (Author)
Nanda R. Shrestha was born and raised in Nepal. He went to the United States in early 1972, and earned his M.A. from Temple University (Pennsylvania). He then attended Indiana University where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1982. He is currently professor of resource and cultural management in the School of Business & Industry at Florida A&M University (FAMU). Prior to joining the FAMU faculty he was an associate professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (1985-1994) and lecturer at Georgia State University (1982-1985). In addition to his personal knowledge and experience, Professor Shrestha has conducted extensive field research in Nepal on several occasions as part of his two research grants from the National Science Foundation, as well as from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations. He has published numerous articles in professional journals in the fields of geography and economic development. In addition, he has published several books: The Political Economy of Land, Landlessness, and Migration in Nepal (2001), In the Name of Development: A Reflection on Nepal (1997 and 1999), and Nepal and Bangladesh: A Global Studies Handbook (2002).