Social Science Baha

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Rajendra Pradhan


Rajendra Pradhan is currently affiliated with Nepā School of Social Sciences and Humanities (former Dean), Social Science Baha (former Chair, currently Treasurer), Social Science Baha Services (Board Director), and Himal Association (Chair). An anthropologist, he received his PhD from University of Delhi after which he conducted field work in a Dutch village. He has conducted research on several topics, including religion among Hindu Newars of Kathmandu, care of the elderly in a Dutch village, and food habits of Tarai inhabitants. He then spent more than a decade and a half using the legal anthropological perspective to study water and land rights in Nepal as well as looking at social and cultural diversity and its impact on social exclusion, access to political, social, economic resources and law. He is currently researching on women’s rights in Nepal, mainly using a legal anthropological perspective. He has served as research consultant to various organisations, including the International Water Management Institute, the International Food Policy Research Institute, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank. He has conducted several research workshops and training sessions for Nepali and international participants on topics such as social exclusion, legal pluralism, ethnography, and water rights.

His publications include (ed.) Water Rights, Conflict and Policy (1997); Water, Land and Law: Changing Rights to Land and Water in Nepal (2000); Law, History and Culture of Water in Nepal (2003); Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law in Social, Economic and Political Development (2003) and (with Ruth Meinzen-Dick) ‘Analyzing Water Rights, Multiple Uses and Intersectoral Water Transfers’ in Rutgerd Boelens, Dik Roth and Margreet Zwartveen (eds.) Liquid Relations: Contested Water Rights and Legal Complexity; ‘Legal Pluralism in the Supreme Court: Law,  Religion, and Culture Pertaining to Women’s Rights in Nepal’ in Franz von Benda-Beckmann, Keebet von Benda-Beckmann, Martin Ramstedt and Bertam Turner (eds.) Religion in Disputes: Pervasiveness of Religious Normative Disputing Processes (2013);  (with Ruth Meinzen-Dick) ‘Legal Pluralism in Post-Conflict Environments: Problem or Opportunity for Natural Resource Management?’ in C. Bruch, C. Muffett, and S. S. Nichols(eds.) Governance, Natural Resources, and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding; and (with Ruth Meinzen-Dick and Sophie Theis) ‘Property rights, Intersectionality and Women’s Empowerment in Nepal’ (2019).