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Accueil > Publications > Dernières publications

Special section edited by Olivia Aubriot (CESAH) and Tristan Bruslé (CESAH) and published in the European Bulletin of Himalayan Research, 2023 No. 60

entitled "The Nepalese Lowlands"


Introduction : The Nepalese lowlands : land and water, local practices and national policies

This introductory article to the special section on the Nepalese lowlands presents the following theme : the management of natural resources such as land and water. This topic has often been neglected in scientific literature on this part of Nepal, especially since the emergence of political movements at the end of the People’s War. This article presents the subject of each contribution, as well as the approaches common to all three articles : historical, socio-technical and political ecology. All of them highlight the influence of institutional and technical choices of development policies on the daily lives of people who inhabit the plain. They also pay particular attention to those left behind by these development policies.
Article : Agrarian changes in the Nepalese lowlands : local actors and the state

This article presents a historical reconstruction of the development of the Tarai plain, which has been central to Nepal’s agricultural policy. It focuses on the role of the state and the involvement of local actors in this development to show how state policies benefited some actors while excluding others. Starting in the eighteenth century, a critical period in the structuring of society and in the establishment of the elite, we show how the state selected its rural interlocutors according to specific characteristics during four historical phases characterised by dominant development paradigms. Firstly, from the unification of Nepal (late eighteenth century) to 1950 when land policies structured the relationship between the state and farmers. Secondly, in the 1950s–80s when public policies focused on collective infrastructures. Thirdly, from the mid-1980s to the 2000s when the participatory management paradigm emerged. Finally, from the 2000s onwards with market-oriented agriculture and the increase in development actors and a very relative disengagement of the state. We show that the current trend is towards individualising access to water, individualising access to state-offered aid, and de facto exclusion of the disadvantaged from specific development programmes, with only a few NGOs countering this trend.
EBHR N° 60 :