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Death of an Industry

Death of an Industry
The Cultural Politics of Garment Manufacturing during the Maoist Revolution in Nepal

  • Date Published: September 2018
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781108579803

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About the Authors
  • This book addresses the instabilities that growing industries face in developing countries, especially Nepal. Also, what happens when industries die out? It questions the rickety ride to industrialization and development - if at all it is avoidable? The author delves deep into its impact on human lives - what happens to those hundreds of thousands of people whose livelihoods are dependent on these industries? How do they inculcate new skillsets to suit changing requirements? What future awaits those who leave the country in search of a better tomorrow? The author challenges the existing perspective that the Maoist movement was essentially a rural, guerrilla warfare. She explains how the Maoist-led labour uprising in Nepal following the death of the garment industry was embedded in a broader political upheaval that was essentially urban in nature and was more about national politics than everyday politics in the margins.

    • Includes comprehensive literature reviews on industry and development and industry and society
    • Presents an in-depth analysis of the economic history of Nepal
    • Provides a detailed ethnography of garment manufacturing and trade
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Economists' models are abstractions. By contrast, in this culturally sensitive and theoretically sophisticated account, Mallika Shakya provides a vivid insider's view of what was once a vibrant industry, employing thousands, and she shows how it was inevitably and inextricably embedded in Nepali society and Nepali politics, with ultimately tragic consequences.' David N. Gellner, University of Oxford

    'Mallika Shakya takes us through Nepal's recent turbulent history that she witnessed as a citizen, anthropologist, industrial development officer and an academic researcher. In this work she has focussed on the tsunami that hit its garment factories, when they were boosted and later dumped by the United States, then swept up in a Maoist revolution, harbinger of a new political era. The story is sensational; its analytical perspective unique; its implications for development theory and policy compelling. This book captures Nepal's 'interesting times' as no other has so far.' Keith Hart, University of Pretoria, South Africa

    'While Schumpeter's notion of progress as creative destruction has captured the imagination, few scholars take the lessons of failure seriously, nor do they chronicle uncreative destruction. Not only has Mallika Shakya analysed the fall as well as the rise of what was an important industry, but also has mobilised over a decade of field enquiry to bring Nepal into the mainstream from its place on the exotic margins of development. She has justified convincingly her governing concept of the 'industrial ecosystem' into which she has niched the politics of artisanal and mass production, caste, ethnicity and gender, Maoist revolutionary politics on the shop floor, the Multi Fibre Agreement and US trade and aid policy, and much more. A stimulating and enjoyable read for all scholars of development.' Barbara Harriss White, University of Oxford

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2018
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781108579803
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    Figures and tables
    Key names
    1. Situating the idea: industry, society and development
    2. Nepal and garments
    3. A garment industry ecosystem
    4. The normality of garment making
    5. The MFA expiry: a garment tsunami
    6. Workers and unions: ethnicity and class
    7. Reconstituting the garment afterlife

  • Author

    Mallika Shakya, South Asian University, New Delhi
    Mallika Shakya teaches at the Department of Sociology at South Asian University, Delhi. She is an economic anthropologist working on socio-economic embeddedness, labour movements and trader communities. She has examined the rise and fall of the readymade garment industry in Nepal since 2001. Her current research examines the nature of overlap between business and social organisation among the Nepali Marwaris who once dominated the garment industry and have now readjusted elsewhere within and outside South Asia. Her recent research and teaching focus on the concepts of regionalism, diaspora and border towns.

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