Session Chairs and Discussants

Session 1: Developmental Issues

Chair: Lynn Bennett, International Center for Integrated Mountain Development
Discussants:
Brijesh Kumar Bajpai, Giri Institute of Developmental Studies
Francois Libois, University of Namur, Belgium
Denise B. Scott, State University of New York at Geneseo

Session 2: Education, Health and Social Safety Nets

Chair: Lopita Nath, University of Incarnate Word
Discussants:
Nirmal K. Raut, Natioanl Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
Juni Singh, Paris School of Economics

Session 3: Geopolitical Conflicts and Human Rights

Chair: Haley Duschinski, Ohio University
Discussants:
Mona Bhan, DePauw University
Amrita Ghosh, Seton Hall University

Session 4: Agro-forestry, Energy and Environmental Issues

Chair: J. Gabriel Campbell, The Mountain Institute
Discussants:
Samrat B. Kunwar, University of New Mexico
Eric Strahorn, Florida Gulf Coast University
Sakib Mahmud, University of Wisconsin-Superior
Shashi Sahay, University of Rajasthan
Abstracts

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2016
Thursday, October 20th
12:00 AM

Full Proceedings

Nepal Study Center

12:00 AM

Proceedings and paper abstracts of the Himalayan Policy Research Conference (Eleventh Annual) from the Nepal Study Center. Thursday, October 20, 2016, Madison Concourse Hotel and Governors' Club, Pre-conference Venue of the 45th South Asian Conference at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Households in times of war: Adaptation strategies during the Nepal civil war

François Libois, Paris School of Economics

12:00 AM

This paper analyses short and medium term consequences of the Nepalese civil war on rural households’ livelihood and on the inter-group distribution of income. Conclusions rely on two rich datasets: the Nepal Living Standards Survey collected before, during and after the war, and the dataset on the number of killings by month and village during the eleven years of the conflict. Using the survey timing as a quasi-natural experiment, results indicate that in the short-run all households lose, but high castes by a larger extent. Short-term coping strategies determine medium term diverging recovery paths. Non-high castes allocate more labor in agriculture and loose more in the medium term. High castes diversify their income sources, notably by relying on migration, which allows them to recover.

Friday, October 21st
12:00 AM

Functional and financial devolution to urban local bodies and their performance in India

Brijesh Kumar Bajpai, Giri Institute of Development Studies

12:00 AM

The present paper addresses the issues related to the functional and financial devolution and powers of urban local bodies in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. An attempt has been made to analyze why urban local bodies have become weak and are not able to perform effectively as vibrant democratic units of self-government.

Saturday, October 22nd
12:00 AM

Gender, class and nation in the foothills of the Himalayas: Student aspirations and the construction of the new middle class

Denise Scott, State University of New York at Geneseo

12:00 AM

Sunday, October 23rd
12:00 AM

Long-term effects of Gurkha recruitment in Nepal

Juni Singh, Paris School of Economics
François Libois, Paris School of Economics
Oliver Vanden Eynde, Paris School of Economics

12:00 AM

In this research project we examine the long-term economic effects of the recruitment of soldiers from Nepal into the Indian and British Army.

Monday, October 24th
12:00 AM

Migrant heterogeneity and education of children left behind in Nepal

Nirmal Kumar Raut, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
Ryuichi Tanaka, University of Tokyo

12:00 AM

This study investigates the causal impact of work-related migration of parents on left behind children's education and investment in schooling.

Tuesday, October 25th
12:00 AM

Global refugee crisis and South Asia’s geopolitics: The case of the Bhutanese refugees

Lopita Nath, University of the Incarnate Word

12:00 AM

This paper seeks to examine the implications of South Asia’s geopolitics on the creation and management of this refugee crisis which generated a lot of international attention and concern.

Wednesday, October 26th
12:00 AM

Humans, Hanguls and “Indian Dogs” in Kashmir

Deepti Misri, University of Colorado, Boulder

12:00 AM

Joining the "human rights comics" (Hong) genre popularized by Art Spiegelman’s Maus, and including Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis and Joe Sacco’s Palestine, Malik Sajad's graphic novel Munnu (2015) seeks to expose human rights violations in Kashmir to an international audience. This paper will closely consider how Munnu constructs its human rights claims on behalf of Kashmiris by recourse to the non-human. Attending particularly to Sajad's use of the humanoid hangul to figure the Kashmiri, and to the presence of (non-humanoid) dogs everywhere in the novel, this paper will ask: how does the non-human come to figure -- in surprisingly gendered ways -- the rights-worthiness of humans in an occupied territory? How does it reinscribe or contest the primacy of the human enshrined in human rights discourses? And how might an attention to non-human figures reconstruct studies of the occupation and claims to human rights in Kashmir?

Thursday, October 27th
12:00 AM

Searching for the disappeared in Kashmir: Gendered activism and the international human rights framework

Ather Zia, University of Northern Colorado

12:00 AM

Since 1989 in the Indian controlled Kashmir more than 10,000 men have been subjected to enforced disappeared in the counter-insurgency actions by the Indian army. Kashmiri women mainly Muslim mothers and wives have organized under the banner of Association of the Parents of the Disappeared (APDP) to search for their disappeared men. In this paper I trace how these APDP activists propagate and sustain their struggle and operate under the rubric of international human rights framework to make a case for their search.

Friday, October 28th
12:00 AM

Exposing the contradictions of the state: Complexities of legal mobilization in Kashmir

Haley Duschinski, Ohio University

12:00 AM

This paper draws on ethnographic research as well as critical readings of the legal archive to show how state power is exercised and also contested in landmark cases of fake encounters, disappearance, and custodial killing.

Saturday, October 29th
12:00 AM

Assessing the impact of climate change on farmland values in Nepal: A Ricardian approach

Samrat Bikram Kunwar, University of New Mexico

12:00 AM

This paper presents an application of Ricardian approach to assess the impact of climate change on farmland values in Nepal. The Ricardian approach is estimated using a panel fixed effects model. The results are tested with two models that account for spatial effects: a spatial lag model and a spatial error model. The findings reveal that Nepalese farmlands are sensitive to climate change. This result is consistent in both the spatial and non-spatial analysis.

Sunday, October 30th
12:00 AM

Can government-sponsored sustainable agricultural farming practices reduce land decay through crop biodiversity conservation under production uncertainties?

Sakib Mahmud, University of Wisconsin-Superior

12:00 AM

Under income uncertainties, agricultural farmers might be influenced by government-sponsored programs that might lead to higher income opportunities by focusing on monoculture at the expense of crop diversification strategy. However, the latter strategy is likely to reduce production uncertainties for agricultural farmers and hence, ensuring sustainable agricultural development in the targeted area. A theoretical model is proposed to understand such possible economic trade-offs between high income-lower crop diversification and lower income-higher crop diversification outcomes resulting from government-sponsored programs and institutions.

Monday, October 31st
12:00 AM

India’s quest for energy security and its West Asia policy

Shashi Sahay, University of Rajasthan
Vipra Swami Arya, University of Rajasthan

12:00 AM

This paper analyzes India’s interests, challenges, and actual energy security policies towards the region and also attempts to study how far India’s Quest for Energy Security drives India’s West Asia policy.

Tuesday, November 1st
12:00 AM

An analysis of the barriers to cross border trade in hydroelectricity in the Himalayas

Eric Strahorn, Florida Gulf Coast University

12:00 AM

This paper will focus on two and argue that firstly the potential for hydroelectricity in Himalayan rivers has been exaggerated and needs to be reconsidered. Secondly, the barriers to hydropower development are not, as often assumed, simply technical questions regarding engineering strategies, environmental impact assessments, regulatory reforms or project financing. Instead, the barriers are much greater. One barrier is the hydroelectric dam itself. The megadams required to sustain a cross border trade in electricity are highly problematic. Another barrier is the legacy of decades of failed hydro-diplomacy especially between India and Nepal.