Social Science Baha

Changing Dynamics of Nepali Society and Politics

Changing Dynamics of Nepali Society and Politics
(organised with Alliance for Social Dialogue and Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies)

17-19 August, 2011

Nepal has gone through major socio-political changes in the last two decades. Restoration of democracy in 1990, the liberalisation of the market begun even earlier and the decade-long armed Maoist conflict ushered in major changes in the politics, society, and economy of the country. These changes have affected Nepalis in various ways. The aim of the conference was to understand these changes in order to gain insights into what has been happening in society and also because they have an impact on the future of the country.


Day I

17 August, Wednesday

2:30 pm

Session 1. The Mahesh Chandra Regmi Lecture 2011: James F. Fisher—Globalisation in Nepal: Theory and Practice
4-5 pm                 High Tea

5-7 pm


Session 2. Public Event: Sanghiyata ra yeska ayam (Federalism and Its Dimensions)

  • Anil Bhattarai: Prakritik shrot ra sanghiya rajya: Kehi sadharan tara mahatwopurna kuraharu
  • Mahendra Lawoti: Nepalko sandharvama sanghiya dhanchaharuko lekha-jokha: Samabeshikaran, Dwonda Byawasthapan, Loktantrikaran ra Bikas

Moderated by Bhogendra Jha

Day II:

18 August, Thursday

8:30 am               Tea
9-11:15 am

Session 3. State-building in a ‘new’ Nepal

Chair: Om Gurung (Tribhuvan University)

Seira Tamang (Martin Chautari): State-building, elites and the contradictions of post-conflict political space
Discussant: Dhruba Kumar

Bihari Krishna Shrestha: Making Nepal’s bureaucracy deliver: Empowering the users constitutes a necessary precondition
Discussant: Ram Bahadur Chhetri (Tribhuvan University)

Amanda Snellinger (University of Washington): The mandate of consensus: democratic process in the Constituent Assembly
Discussant: Mahendra Lawoti (Western Michigan University)

Session 4. Politics of social change

Chair: Dilli Ram Dahal

Katsuo Nawa (University of Tokyo): Changing aspects of ‘politics’ in Byans, Far Western Nepal: coping with the Panchayat system, political parties, Janajati movements and Maoists
Discussant: Mukta Singh Lama-Tamang (Tribhuvan University)

Mollica Dastider (University of Delhi): Minority cultures as border thinking: Janajati question as kirata sabhyata in East Himalayas
Discussant: Tatsuro Fujikura (University of Kyoto)

Susan Appleyard: Counter-terrorism, human rights and democratic changes in Nepal
Discussant: Hari Sharma (Nepā School of Social Sciences and Humanities)

11:15 -11:45 am              Tea Break

11:45 am -1.15 pm

Session 5. Devolution and local governance: bureaucracy, leaders and popular participation

Chair: Yagya Adhikari (Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies)

Annelies Ollieuz (University of Oslo): Locally elected representatives: the past and the future
Discussant: Krishna Hachhethu (Tribhuvan University)

Dwarika Dhungel, Mahendra Sapkota and Marit Haug (Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Studies): Popular Participation in Planning: An Exercise in the Context of Nepalese Local Self- Governance Act 1999
Discussant: Bihari Krishna Shrestha

Session 6. Identity politics: Region, caste and religion

Chair: Pratyoush Onta (Martin Chautari)

Sujeet Karn (University of Hull): Madhesi identity: a conversion towards Madhesiness
Discussant: Mollica Dastider (University of Delhi)

Yam Bahadur Kisan (National School of Research): Two decades of Nepalese Dalit Movement (1990-2010): an analysis of the socio-political perspective
Discussant: Krishna Bhattachan (Tribhuvan University)

1.15-2:15 pm    Lunch

2:15-4:30 pm

Session 7. Identity movements and strategies

Chair: Chaitanya Subba

Reena Maharjan (Shahid Smarak Campus, Kirtipur): From traditional autonomy (Manjani) to new autonomy activism: socio-political changes among the Danuwars of Kamala Khonch in Sindhuli District
Discussant: Dambar Chemjong (Tribhuvan University)

Matthew Maycock (University of East Anglia): The Tharuhat movement: old Rakshi in new bottle?
Discussant: Hari Dhungana (Southasia Institute of Advanced Studies)

Session 8. Civil society, participation and resistance

Chair: Krishna Hachhethu (Tribhuvan University)

Suresh Dhakal (Tribhuvan University): Dialogic of politics and civil society: a study on democratization in everyday life with some reflections from Eastern Tarai
Discussant: Ramesh Parajuli (Martin Chautari)

Meeta Pradhan (University of Michigan): Participation in community groups: Changes in membership among individuals from different caste groups
Discussant: Bandita Sijapati (Nepā School of Social Sciences and Humanities)

5 pm

Session 9. Public Event: Rajnaitik Sankramanma Nepal (Nepal’s Prolonged Political Transition: Where Are We Heading?)

  • Nilamber Acharya

Moderated by Hari Sharma


19 August, Friday

8:30 am               Tea

9-11:15 am
Session 10. Nation and culture

Chair: Yogendra Yadava

Dinesh Kafle (Jawaharlal Nehru University): The nation and its language
Discussant: Om Gurung (Tribhuvan University)

Anna Stirr (University of Oxford): Music and cultural policy in Nepal: Views from lok dohori
Discussant: Suresh Dhakal (Tribhuvan University)

Session 11. Identity politics, conflict and ‘new’ Nepal

Chair: Hira Vishwakarma

Mona Chhetri (School of Oriental and African Studies): Ethnicity and the political contour of Naya Nepal: a case study of regional politics in Eastern Nepal
Discussant: Bal Krishna Mabuhang (Tribhuvan University)

Krishna Bhattachan (Tribhuvan University): Ethnic conflict in Nepal
Discussant: Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury (Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata)

Mahendra Lawoti (Western Michigan University): Transforming ethnic politics, transforming Nepali polity: from peaceful nationalist mobilization to rise of armed separatist groups
Discussant: Sangeeta Thapliyal (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

11:15 -11:45 am              Tea

11:45 am -1.15 pm

Session 12. Politics over time and space

Chair: Ram Bahadur Chhetri (Tribhuvan University)

Tatsuro Fujikura (University of Kyoto): Political mobilization, spatiality, and the production of locality in Western Nepal
Discussant: Lauren Leve (University of North Carolina)

David Holmberg (Cornell University): Ritual as politics and politics as ritual: two rituals, two headmen, and two times
Discussant: Pratyoush Onta (Martin Chautari)

Session 13. State and foreign policy

Chair: Sangeeta Thapliyal (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Dhruba Kumar: At peace but insecure: the Nepali State in Quandary
Discussant: Amanda Snellinger (University of Washington)

Rajesh Kumar (PPN College, Kanpur): Trapped between the dragon and the elephant: game theory and options for Nepal’s foreign policy
Discussant: Seira Tamang (Martin Chautari)

1.15-2:15 pm    Lunch

2:15-4:30 pm

Session 14. Market and social change

Chair: Elvira Graner (BRAC University)

Youba Raj Luintel (Newcastle University): Market and social change: locating transfer of rural surplus an social differentiation in contemporary Nepal
Discussant: Jeevan Sharma (Tufts University)

Lauren Leve (University of North Carolina): Neoliberal transition and religious change
Discussant: Rajendra Pradhan (Nepā School of Social Sciences and Humanities)

Meena Acharya (Tanka Prasad Acharya Memorial Foundation): Changing structure of households in Nepal and their likely impact on women
Discussant: Meeta Pradhan (University of Michigan)

Session 15. Socio-economic changes, compulsions and lives in rural and urban areas

Chair: Ian Harper (University of Edinburgh)

Yohei Takata (Kyoto University): Urban street as life space: lives of street children in Kathmandu, Nepal
Discussant: Ajaya Mali (Nepā School of Social Sciences and Humanities)

Yogendra B. Gurung (Tribhuvan University): Structural motivations for rural out-migration for work: some narratives from Eastern Tarai, Nepal
Discussant: Hemant Ojha (Southasia Institute of Advanced Studies)

Pasang Yangjee Sherpa (Washington State University): Socio-economic changes in Khumbu and Pharak
Discussant: Jim Fisher

5 pm

Session 16. Public Event: Shikshyama Chunauti: Ek Bahas (Emerging trends in Education: Challenges and Opportunities)

  • Amuda Shrestha
  • Balchandra Luitel
  • Vidyanath Koirala

Moderated by Rajendra Dahal