MOBILITY PATHWAYS: MOBILE LIVES IN A TRANS-HIMALAYAN POWER CORRIDOR
Beazley, Robert Edward
Roads hold an archetypal position in development discourse as precursors to other development interventions and essential components of economic growth. In Nepal where a quarter of the population has to walk more than four hours to the nearest road not surprisingly road development has been the emblematic infrastructure development trajectory for the last six decades. Roads have a definitive impact on human mobility; hence they are intimately implicated in mobilities. This dissertation investigates how mobilities couple and converge creating hybrid spaces rich in potentialities that can create new mobility pathways. In some cases, this process can lead to cascading effects where mobilities expand and flow into surrounding material and social landscapes. Focusing on the Trishuli River Valley in Rasuwa District a mere 150 km northwest of Kathmandu I show how gendered, hydro project, and disaster mobilities interact. I argue that local agency negotiating actors in what was historically viewed as a peripheral frontier of extraction turn the tables on this state gaze, to a gaze from the homeland of autochthonous agents negotiating the developmental changes they were previously denied by the state. I further show how these are highly contested landscapes embedded in geopolitical, socioeconomic, diverse cultural, and gendered processes. I posit that homeland voices clarify these mobility-scapes within the mobilities framework that I conceptualize and introduce. I leverage this mobilities framework to bring legibility to necessarily ‘messy’, complex, and convoluted processes providing purchase to analyze the frictions inherent in state making trajectories and in their absence. In so doing, I contribute to the field of mobilities studies by providing context specific ethnographically rich vignettes of diverse agency space creating actors in their lived mobility-scapes. Focusing on three main mobilities, gendered, hydro project, and disaster mobilities, I enliven the discourse on globalization, liquid modernity, and infrastructure studies by putting them in tension with ‘non-spaces’. I argue that ‘non- spaces’ and ‘zones of not yet’ are illusions that underlie the gaze of frontier focused trajectories at the expense of lived homeland experiences. Findings hold relevance for development planners, social scientists, disaster preparedness architects and practitioners, gender scholars, and policy makers.
earthquakes; Nepal; Natural resource management; Mobilities; Natural Disasters; Persons with disabilities; Gender studies; Gender
Lassoie, James Philip
March, Kathryn S.; Kassam, Karim-Aly Saleh; Colfer, Carol J.
Ph.D., Natural Resources
Doctor of Philosophy
Attribution 4.0 International
dissertation or thesis
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution 4.0 International