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Constitutional Nationalism and Legal ExclusionEquality, Identity Politics, and Democracy in Nepal (1990-2007)$
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Mara Malagodi

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780198082910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198082910.001.0001

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‘We, the People’: Drafting Nepal’s 1990 Constitution

‘We, the People’: Drafting Nepal’s 1990 Constitution

(p.94) 4 ‘We, the People’: Drafting Nepal’s 1990 Constitution
Constitutional Nationalism and Legal Exclusion

Mara Malagodi

Oxford University Press

The success of the Jan Āndolan (People's Movement) in ending the Panchayat monarchical autocracy and in restoring democracy to the Himalayan kingdom in the spring of 1990 led to the process of constitution-making in Nepal that same year. The drafting of the 1990 Constitution highlights the layer of formalization in the institutionalization of the Nepali nation at the constitutional level. After discussing identity politics in the drafting of the 1990 Constitution, this chapter argues that the specific part of the 1990 Constitution pertaining to the definition of ‘We, the (Nepali) People’ reflects an instance of historically structured agency. This agency is constrained by the formalization of a Nepali national identity intertwined with the institution of the Shah monarchy whose legitimacy is tied to the language of Hindu kingship.

Keywords:   Nepal, Constitution, kingship, monarchy, agency, national identity, Jan Āndolan, democracy, institutionalization, identity politics

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