Paper: A Political Earthquake: The impact of post-earthquake reconstruction on Nepali politics

Paper details

Paper authors James Sharrock
In panel on Filling the gap or filling the shoes? Civil society and political change in historical disasters
Paper presenter(s) will be presenting In-Person / Online


This presentation will explore the impact of owner-driven reconstruction on domestic politics in post-earthquake societies. My research does this by looking at the impact of reconstruction after the 2015 earthquake on Nepal’s political settlement. My interest is in asking how did the ways in which reconstruction guidelines were implemented impact Nepali politics? In particular I ask who are the political winners and losers of reconstruction processes and how did reconstruction affect state-society relations? I focus on the role of engineers and NGO staff in helping households to rebuild. Initial theses suggest that a) owner-driven reconstruction strengthened the role of contractors in Nepali politics and b) the engineers’ experience of verifying household rebuilding provided momentum towards the current rise of youth-led independent politics in Nepal. More broadly, the research aims to encourage international actors to ‘think politically’ in terms of assessing the likely impact of reconstruction policy choices in affected states.