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Durham University

Department of Anthropology


Publication details for Dr Ben Campbell

Campbell, B. (2010). Rhetorical Routes for Development: a road project in Nepal. Contemporary South Asia 18(3): 267-279.

Author(s) from Durham


Rhetoric is adopted in this paper as a lens to look at the claims made by a road-building project in a region of Nepal characterised by ‘remoteness’ and underdevelopment. The notion that the road connecting to the infrastructure on the Chinese side of the border will improve the livelihoods of the poor on the Nepalese side is discussed with a range of people in different villages along the proposed route. By attending to vernacular articulations of poverty and globalisation, it is argued that a method of rhetorical sensibility offers greater ethnographic value for understanding development's entanglements with social life than does the notion of discourse.


Special Issue: Rhetorics of Change in South Asia