Political Transition in Nepal
Time: Monday 3 September 11:30-13:00
Place: CMI, main meeting room
A potentially momentous political transition has been underway in Nepal beginning April 2006. It is likely that the transition will mark a key political break with the past. It is likely that the 238-year old institution of monarchy, which underwent several political-military incarnations, which had recently become broadly and sharply autocratic once again and which had since 2001 explicitly flouted the 1990 political compact of a parliamentary monarchy, will cease to exist. Even if the monarchy renews itself, which appears unlikely, it will be rendered politically and militarily powerless, and undivided sovereign power will finally be vested in the people and their representatives. It is possible that the state and society in Nepal will become more democratic, inclusive and plural than in the past. It is further likely that state policy will be much less centralized than in the past and will instead be based on substantive devolution of political, financial administrative, etc., power to local governments, civil society organizations and private initiatives. It is also likely that specific features of precapitalist and feudal forms of landownership, for example, absentee ownership and attached labor like the haliya labor system, will be weakened or rendered illegal.