Social Science Baha

Lecture Series

Border Effects: Analytical Issues In Border Crossing

Jeevan Raj Sharma
Lecture Series LVI
May 29, 2012

Jeevan Raj Sharma
Border Effects: Analytical Issues in Border Crossing

Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork among Nepali labour migrants crossing the Nepal-India border, this lecture discusses how Nepali labour migrants from the western hills negotiate the border apparatus—bureaucratic, law enforcement, political, market, and socio-cultural—that formally and informally shape their migration experience. Such an ethnographic study of cross-border migration not only allows us to understand the state boundary from the perspective of labour migrants whose movements transcends it, and who thereby directly experience and confront its authority, but also that it serves to maintain a steady flow of cheap, docile and exploitative labor in migrant destinations.

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Jeevan Raj Sharma (PhD, Edinburgh) is a Lecturer in South Asia and International Development at the University of Edinburgh. Earlier, he worked as a Senior Researcher and Assistant Professor at Feinstein International Center at Tufts University, where he conducted extensive fieldwork on Maoist insurgency, migration, and social change in western Nepal, and taught graduate courses at Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. He has also been an associate at the Centre for South Asian Studies (Edinburgh), visiting fellow at the Social Science Baha and the Centre for Study of Labour and Mobility (Kathmandu), and adjunct professor of anthropology at the Nepa School of Social Sciences (Kathmandu). Prof. Sharma has authored several publications on labour migrants, development aid, and social change in Nepal.

Full details of his current research and publications, can be accessed at

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