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

Mara Malagodi

in Constitutional Nationalism and Legal Exclusion

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780198082910
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199082179 | DOI:
‘We, the People’: Drafting Nepal’s 1990 Constitution

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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

Chapter.  30056 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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