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Exclusionary Processes and Constitution Building in Nepal

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The current constitution building exercise in Nepal must be seen in the context of a history of an exclusionary state run by high-caste, hill, male elites. Past democratic transitions, including the 1990 change, failed to ensure the rights, participation and representation of excluded groups. The April 2006 peoples' movement, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the election to the Constituent Assembly of the most representative elected body in Nepal's history and the establishment of a Republic has raised hopes for real change. However, current tendencies to narrowly define the peace process solely in terms of a political settlement between the Maoists and other dominant political parties has marginalised larger commitments made in the peace agreement to tackle deepseated economic, political and social inequalities. In the context of a highly politicised climate and the rise of identity politics, such an orientation risks jeopardising long term, sustainable peace building in Nepal.

Affiliations: 1: Chairperson, Martin Chautari, Kathmandu, Nepal


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