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Document Type

International Studies and Languages

Abstract

Today, one quarter of Nepal’s population of 27 million lives on a daily income of less than two dollars (Sharma 8). Villages are deprived of an ample water supply, and some areas still lie in ruins from the aftermath of the Maoist insurgency. This paper will seek to understand the role of poverty in the historically and presently unfolding political environment of Nepal. Several factors show direct correlation between poverty and insurgent activity, such as land ownership, level of education and socio-economic standing. Nepal has had a volatile and bloody past in the midst of medieval dynasties, an authoritative monarchy and more recently an arguably psychotic royal family, but it is the nation’s state of poverty that fuels the violence, specifically the ferocity of the Maoist insurgency. The nation’s geography, education system, and economy contribute to the endemic cycle, as they are largely set up in favor of those rebel groups, those whom the poor envy and are disparate from by way of caste, and those to whom literacy is not a foreign concept. Nepal’s violent political environment is not a result of its brutal history, but rather its poverty.