Thursday, October 24, 2013

Globalization and Labour Conflict in Post-war Nepal

Bishnu Raj Upreti, Safal Ghimire and Yamuna Ghale

PARALLEL to unfolding globalisation, the decade-long (1996-2006) armed conflict between then Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN-M) and the government created great insecurity and instability in Nepal. However, the strong forces of globalisation saw the country being admitted to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in the midst of the conflict. Today, there is hardly any aspect of life in Nepal that has not been touched by the winds of fast-blowing globalisation. Technological advances have been changing society, institutions and social relations.
Labour and employment relations are also being continually affected by the globalisation process and this chapter is devoted to these developments. While promoting industrial and employment growth, globalisation is expected to spur development and expand human resources. Its effects are only beginning to be felt in Nepal. Unlike the past, when Nepal’s global integration began with the recruitment of Gorkha soldiers to the British army in India, the present-day benchmarks of globalisation are the guiding principles of the Washington Consensus. So, despite support from several interests, globalisation has been widely criticised in Nepal. During the armed conflict and later, the CPN (M) was vehemently opposed to it. In this context, it is interesting to examine the positive and negative effects globalisation has had on employment and labour. This paper analyses the effects of trade liberalisation on employment, the impact of the internationalisation of labour on employment and working conditions, and the effect of labour regulations on investment and employment in Nepal. It is largely a descriptive analysis based on secondary sources of data.

Note: It is a published chapter in a book from Institute for Development Alternatives-Chennai/PANOS South Asia. Authored by Bishnu Upreti, Safal Ghimire and Yamuna Ghale; the chapter is here and the book can be found here.

The full citation is: Upreti, B. R., Ghimire, S., & Ghale, Y. (2013). Globalisation and Labour in Conflict-Engulfed Nepal. In D. N. Reddy (Ed.), Globalisation and Labour in South Asia. Kathmandu/Chennai: Institute for Development Alternatives/PANOS South Asia, pp. 181–231.

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