After the restoration of democracy in 1990, Nepal witnessed collective political struggles-identity and gender movements, public protests and strikes, and the Maoist rebellion. This volume examines the causes, consequences and effectiveness of such contentious politics, and their relationship to democratization. Contradicting the popular thesis that contentious politics generally promotes democratization, this topical book shows that some forms of contentious politics can hinder it, even as other forms strengthen democracy. It also suggests that the nature of activities-whether they are coercive or voluntary-lead to different effects on democratization. A timely addition to the literature on contentious politics, democratization, and Nepal, it will be of interest to scholars studying democratic politics, as well as practitioners engaged in nurturing development in fledgling democracies.
Mahendra Lawoti, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. He is the author of Towards a Democratic Nepal: Inclusive Political Institutions for a Multicultural Society (Sage Publications, 2005, third reprint 2006, Nepali translation 2007), Samabesi Sambidhan Sabha ra Rajyako Punarsamrachan (Inclusive Constituent Assembly and Restructuring of the State) (NISP, 2007), Looking Back, Looking Forward: Centralization, Multiple Conflicts and Democratic State Building in Nepal (Fortcoming, Washington: East West Center) and many articles and book chapters. He is currently revising his dissertation into a book to be titled Exclusion in New Democracies: Nepal in a Comparative Perspective. Professor Lawoti is the President of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies and Non- Resident Associate Fellow of the New York-headquartered Asia Society. His teaching and research interests cover international development, democratization and political institutions, constitutionalism, ethnic politics, social movements and insurgencies, and South Asian politics.