Stalled Recruitment Market in Nepal: Crisis as a Stage of Market (Un)Making

IMPRS Colloquium

  • Date: Jun 14, 2021
  • Time: 15:00
  • Speaker: Sandhya A.S
  • Doctoral researcher, IMPRS-SPCE
Stalled Recruitment Market in Nepal: Crisis as a Stage of Market (Un)Making
The pandemic affected lives and livelihood of the human population in ways that are still unfolding and the impact of which will be studied for at least the next foreseeable years.

The pandemic affected lives and livelihood of the human population in ways that are still unfolding and the impact of which will be studied for at least the next foreseeable years. In the presentation, I will try to capture one such impact of the Covid-induced crisis on the transnational recruitment market in Nepal. Nepal is one of the key labour exporting countries in South Asia and is a highly remittance-dependent economy, making its recruitment market or ‘manpower bazar’ a key industry that employs a wide number of actors within Nepal and facilitates recruitment of thousands of Nepalese in foreign labour markets. Understanding how the market developed over the last few decades (1985-till now) is one of my motivations in the research. In the presentation I start with the relevance of the market-making perspective and using the existing economic sociological framework on the topic, I will identify the different stages of market-making in Nepal and discuss some of its main characteristics. My aim in this presentation would be to share some of my recent research findings on how the market actors experience the crisis, how they perceive this change, and how and in what ways they strategize to cope with it. These changes allow me to look at crisis as a stage of market-(un)making, in that the actors begin to question the existing ‘ways of doing things’ in the market and there appears to be ruptures in the market culture. The findings suggest that these ruptures in market culture may be de-consolidating the market and newer practices may become socially acceptable over time, redefining ‘how things are done’ in the market.

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