- Trading places: new economic geographies across Himalayan borderlands
- Political Geography
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Major state-led infrastructural development projects in the Himalayan region have been underway for several years, such as the building of highways connecting Nepal and Tibet, the widening of roads throughout North Bengal, Sikkim, and Tibet, and the planning of extensions to the Beijing-Lhasa railroad. Some of these projects - driven by the need to open up new markets for surplus commodities in the name of "free" trade and bilateral cooperation - have led to the rerouting of established trade routes and increased environmental damage to the region's hilly topography. In an area of Asia that has long been characterized by geographical representations highlighting its supposed marginality and remoteness (for example, "the chicken's neck" or "the roof of the world"), these searches for new openings for capital have led to the erasure or obfuscation of certain places in tandem with the highlighting of other, more profitable places for a variety of hegemonic political and economic goals. This article takes as its basis oral narratives of traders in the region, demonstrating how the re-routing of trade routes have often resulted in diverse attempts to make trading goods and places more coherent in the face of such powerful economic shifts. I argue for the need to avoid simple "top-down" vs. "bottom-up" models of hegemony and resistance in order to obtain a more nuanced picture of the tensions and overlaps between large-scale economic shifts and smaller-scale practices in the region.
- go to publisher's site
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.