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This volume, the first in a new series on governance, conflict, and civic action in South Asia, focuses on the larger countries of South Asia--Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and especially Nepal. The 15 essays in this volume analyze democracy both as a process and as a value. The essays also examine in ethnographic detail the way in which democracy is actually experienced in South Asia, ranging far beyond conventional political structures to look at conflict resolution, rhetorics of foreign aid, ethnic organizations, Maoist practices of local government, Dalit resistance, and so on.
Many of the processes that are analyzed in depth in the Nepalese context are shown to have their analogues in other South Asian countries. By putting Nepalese political and social processes firmly within their South Asian context, the current political crisis in Nepal is shown to be neither so radically new and different, nor so insoluble as it might appear. At the same time, the view from the peripheries of South Asia throws into relief the extent to which India has evolved away from the traditional caste-determined patron-client structures that once formed the framework of political action there.
The volume is a significant contribution to the study of how local democracy actually operates in South Asia. It will be of interest to political scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, and development specialists.
The book...is a significant attempt to study the methodologies adopted by the South Asian countries, while implementing local democratic institutions in their respective countries.
About the Author
David N Gellner is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of All Souls. He is the author of Monk, Householder, and Tantric Priest (1992) and The Anthropology of Buddhism and Hinduism: Weberian Themes (2001), and the co-author (with Sarah LeVine) of Rebuilding Buddhism: The Theravada Movement in Twentieth-Century Nepal (2005). Among his other edited volumes are Contested Hierarchies: A Collaborative Ethnography of Caste among the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal (with D. Quigley, 1995), Nationalism and Ethnicity in a Hindu Kingdom (with J. Pfaff-Czarnecka and J. Whelpton, Harwood, 1997; 2nd edition, 2008), Resistance and the State: Nepalese Experiences (2003; Berghahn, 2007), Nepalis Inside and Outside Nepal and Political and Social Transformations in North India and Nepal (both with H. Ishii and K. Nawa, 2007), Local Democracy in South Asia (with K. Hachhethu, 2008), and Ethnic Activism and Civil Society in South Asia (2009).
Krishna Hachhethu is Reader in Political Science and associated with the Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies (CNAS), Tribhuvan University. He is one of the Nepali directors of the MIDEA project. He is the author of Party Building in Nepal: Organization, Leadership and People (Mandala, 2002) and State of Democracy in Nepal (SDSA/N and International IDEA, 2004), and the co-author of Leadership in Nepal (Adroit, 2001), Women and Governance: Re-imagining the State from Gender Perspective (Nepal chapter) (S2, 2002), and Nepal: Local Leadership and Governance (Adroit, 2004). He has contributed articles to several academic books and journals published in Nepal and abroad.