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Durham University

Department of Anthropology


Publication details for Dr Ben Campbell

Campbell, Ben (2020). Communicative Orders in Collision and Collusion with Natural Resource Management Regimes in Nepal. Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology 85(1): 79-99.

Author(s) from Durham


Successive policy agendas in Nepal have mobilised the notion of the natural environment through crisis scenarios of deforestation and soil erosion, biodiversity loss, and latterly climate change. This article discusses ethnographic work on struggles over livelihoods and national park regulations, and examines collisions and collusions of indigenous shamanic ontologies, moral ecologies, and a hierarchical state symbolism of hunting, to tell very different storylines about languages of nature slipping into affinity with communicative orders of hierarchical purity and power distinctions. Protected areas for nature and wildlife are established in ethnically marked territories, perceived by elites as places of jangal, lacking in culture. Ethnographic research in the Langtang National Park reveals that no singular hegemonic order or ontology dominates but dialogues of power, knowledge, and relational possibility come into play. The aftermath of 2015s earthquakes notably occasioned appeals for social justice to bend the singularly proprietorial resource language of nature protection authorities.