Building a Socially Inclusive State: Federalism in Nepal

By Kristie Drucza.

Published by The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations: Annual Review

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: February 18, 2016 $US5.00

It is often assumed that federalism is about subdividing a country and the decentralization of power. However it can involve the renegotiation of nationhood and identity. This can be an emotional and challenging process. Although federating the country and drawing new state boundaries offered hope to Nepal’s traditionally excluded populations, the state and society of Nepal is structured to allow elite needs to trump those of excluded groups. Negotiations that start from an unequal position are likely to be perceived as unfair by some. Trust in the state is weak and identity politics and social conflict manifested. Who controls the nature of identity, the meaning of citizenship, and the state are issues being contested in federal debates. Federalism is necessary for Nepal but its influence on building an inclusive state (which is defined by excluded groups as having their identity recognized and valued by dominant castes, along with equal rights) may be minimal or only slowly realized.

Keywords: Social Inclusion, Identity Politics, Citizenship, Political Settlement, State Building, Nepal

The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations: Annual Review, Volume 16, 2016, pp.1-17. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: February 18, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 858.772KB)).

Dr Kristie Drucza

PhD Candidate, Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia