Tashi Tsering Ghale

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Washington U.

Grant number

Gr. 10112

Approve Date

April 8, 2021

Project Title

Ghale, Tashi, Washington U., St. Louis, MO - To aid research on "Infrastructure and Inequality: Investigating the Impacts of Road Construction in Dolpo, Nepal," supervised by Dr. Goeff Childs

As Nepal continues to strengthen its northern ties with China, Dolpo, an Indigenous community at the northern border has seen the expansion of the road-building project. In this context, the Dolpo road passing through different lands of Dolpo is one of the few roads that will connect Nepal with China. This territorial configuration will generate new social and material realities for Dolpo. Using border roads in Dolpo as an analytical and infrastructural entry point, I will investigate how distinct geopolitical, economic, and cultural projects converge an Indigenous community in the Nepal-China borderlands. Ethnography involving household surveys, semi-structured interviews, case studies, and participant observation of the community and its different organizations will center indigenous knowledge, perspectives, and experiences. This research will assist in foregrounding the analysis of the changing meanings, valuations, and relations to the land and offer in-depth understandings of the local level of inequality triggered by ongoing road building and its effect on land tenure and valuation. The contribution of the study in providing information on a poorly understood infrastructural development and land tenure and valuation in an Indigenous community will be useful for policymakers and for organizations that design social interventions.