Constitutional struggle in Nepal

New clashes between Maoists and police forces in Nepal have led to 70 arrests. 

This article in the NY Times gives a quick and short background on how tensions have mounted since last year. 

What is most interesting is that the conflict has essentially been over two closely related and key issues for any modern democracy: the limits of executive power; and, maybe even more importantly, the relationship between politics and state-sanctioned violence. Nineteen thousand former Maoist fighters are yet to be integrated into the national army, despite prior agreement. By refusing this integration, the government in power has essentially redrawn the boundaries between legitimate and illegitimate force, leaving the Maoists on the outside in a semi-legal zone of indeterminacy.

How this situation develops will have a huge impact on democratic theory, especially because Nepal’s transformation from monarchy to constitutional democracy has made it the most prominent example of a new founding moment taking place today.


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