Mittwoch, 22. Juni 2016, 18:15 - 19:45 iCal

Internal Migration and State-Citizen Relationship

in Nepal

Ein Vortrag von Sagar Raj Sharma, PhD (Department of Development Studies, Kathmandu University)

Seminarraum 1 des Instituts für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde
Universitätscampus, Spitalgasse 2, Hof 2.7, 1090 Wien


Migration in Nepal is not a new phenomenon. But what is new is the recent upsurge in outmigration, with as many as 500,000 youths per year going out of the country in recent years in search of employment and better livelihood opportunities. Much has been discussed on the socio-economic impacts of this international migration. If on the one hand the high economic returns of remittance (as high as 29% of GDP in 2014, according to World Bank data) and its impact has gained much attention, so has the plight of the labour migrants and their stories of struggle and exploitation. Amidst all this however, there is relatively less discussion on the complexities of the state-citizen relationship among temporary internal migrants, who, because of various pull and push factors, have migrated to bigger towns and urban centers. The aspirations of these internal migrants, and the gradual sense of attachment they develop towards the place of destination, are often countered by suspicious hosts and a system that is reluctant to recognize them as full citizens. The civic rights of the migrants are so tied up to the place of origin that sometimes even to get the basic vital registrations, which have major impacts on their life opportunities, they face difficulties. In this presentation, I aim to discuss these temporal dimensions of internal migration and discuss the state of relationships between internal temporary migrants and the local state. Based on the research conducted over the last 4 years in Eastern Nepal (Bhojpur), I argue here that although migration has provided various social, economic, and even political rights and benefits in various ways, free mobility does not always relate to an extension and enhancement of citizenship rights. As Nepal moves on with implementing various provisions of the new Constitution, including a federal restructuring, this state-citizen relationship will, in all likelihood, get more complex in the days ahead, and thus deserves a closer scrutiny and a much broader debate.

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Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde


Judith Starecek
Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde
4277 43502