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Comparative Constitutionalism in South Asia$
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Sunil Khilnani, Vikram Raghavan, and Arun K. Thiruvengadam

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780198081760

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198081760.001.0001

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Constitutional Developments in a Himalayan Kingdom

Constitutional Developments in a Himalayan Kingdom

The Experience of Nepal

(p.86) Chapter Three Constitutional Developments in a Himalayan Kingdom
Comparative Constitutionalism in South Asia

Sunil Khilnani

Vikram Raghavan

Arun K. Thiruvengadam

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers an account of Nepal's constitutional developments over the years in light of the ‘interaction between indigenous law and transplanted law’. The author reflects upon the modalities of the political transformations that have occurred in Nepal over the past 250 years, with particular reference to the influence of external legal and political concepts. After tracing the constitutional history of Nepal, the author examines the 1990 Constitution and its demise, and what it tells us about political processes in Nepal between 1990 and early 2007, and about democratic politics in the country more generally. It argues that it was a flawed constitution that failed to adequately accommodate the aspirations of the people. The promulgation of the 2007 Interim Constitution has endeavoured to ignite a process of state restructuring and the creation of a ‘New Nepal’. A new document recognizing Nepal's inner plurality, rooted in social hybridity and fostering a civic sense of belonging, with an emphasis on citizenship and rights rather than constitutional arrangements based on a polarized essentializing identity lines, is the need of the hour. The long-term success of the political process currently underway to establish lasting peace in Nepal will depend ultimately upon whether the present constitution-making endeavours achieve consensus and stability.

Keywords:   constitutional developments, Nepalese history, political transformation, Nepalese identity, 1990 Nepalese Constitution, Constitutional provisions, Flawed constitution, institutional change, Nepalese plurality

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