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Volume 21


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The Partial Revolution

Labor, Social Movements and the Invisible Hand of Mao in Western Nepal

Michael Hoffmann

232 pages, 22 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-780-2 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Not Yet Published (January 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78533-781-9 eBook Not Yet Published

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“With this book, Hoffmann makes an important contribution to the ethnography of Maoism in Nepal, as well as providing much needed ethnographic insight into an area of western Nepal which has received relatively little scholarly attention, yet remains at the center of recent political upheavals.” · Sara Shneiderman, University of British Columbia


Located in the far-western Tarai region of Nepal, Kailali has been the site of dynamic social and political change in recent history. The Partial Revolution examines Kailali in the aftermath of Nepal’s Maoist insurgency, critically examining the ways in which revolutionary political mobilization changes social relations – often unexpectedly clashing with the movement’s ideological goals. Focusing primarily on the end of Kailali’s feudal system of bonded labor, Hoffmann explores the connection between politics, labor and Mao’s legacy, documenting the impact of changing political contexts on labor relations among former debt-bonded laborers.

Michael Hoffmann is a Senior Research Fellow at Humboldt University in Berlin. Previously, he worked as a post-doc fellow at the Institute for Cultural and Social Anthropology in Cologne and the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle Germany. He received his PhD in Anthropology from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences in 2012.

Subject: Political Economy Development Studies Peace & Conflict Studies
Area: Asia


List of Illustrations
Note on Transliteration


Chapter 1. Urban Festivals and Post-Conflict Patronage
Chapter 2. The Occupation of Symbolic Space in Town
Chapter 3. Learning to Protest: The Freed Kamaiya Movement
Chapter 4. Maoists and Labour Unions in Town
Chapter 5. Red Salute at Work in a Brick Factory
Chapter 6. The Revolutionary Legacy and Debt Bondage

Conclusion: The Partial Revolution




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