Identity movements, based on ethnicity, caste, language, religion and regional identity, have become increasingly significant in Nepal, reshaping debates on the definition of the nation, nationalism and the structure of the state. This book analyzes the rapid rise in ethnic and nationalist mobilization and conflict since 1990, the dynamics and trajectories of these movements, and their consequences for Nepal.

From an interdisciplinary perspective, the book looks at the roots of mobilization and conflicts, the reasons for the increase in mobilization and violent activities, and the political and social effects of the movements. It provides a historical context for these movements and investigates how identities intersect with forms of political and economic inequality. Nepal’s various identity groups - Dalits, indigenous nationalities, Madhesis and Muslims - have mobilized to different extents. By examining these diverse movements within the same time period and within a unitary state, the book illuminates which factors are more salient for the mobilization of identity groups.

Bringing together empirical contributions on key issues in identity production in a comparative perspective, the book presents an interesting contribution to South Asian studies as well as studies of nationalism and identity more broadly.

part |82 pages

Contextualizing nationalism and ethnic conflict

chapter |30 pages


Nationalism and ethnic conflict in Nepal
BySusan Hangen, Mahendra Lawoti

chapter |23 pages

Ethnopolitics and ethnodevelopment

An emerging paradigm in Nepal – with a postscript
ByKrishna B. Bhattachan

chapter |25 pages

Nepali economic history through the ethnic lens

Changing state alliances with business elites
ByMallika Shakya

part |107 pages

Identities and movements

chapter |28 pages

In pursuit of recognition

Regionalism, Madhesi identity and the Madhes Andolan
ByBandita Sijapati

chapter |17 pages

Refusing to choose

The Muslim Madhesis and the coexistence of religious and regional identity in Nepal's Tarai
ByMollica Dastider

part |66 pages

Trends of Nepal's ethnic and nationalist movements and conflicts

chapter |33 pages

Dynamics of mobilization

Varied trajectories of Dalit, indigenous nationalities and Madhesi movements1
ByMahendra Lawoti

chapter |31 pages

Transforming ethnic politics, transforming the Nepali polity

From peaceful nationalist mobilization to the rise of armed separatist groups1
ByMahendra Lawoti