Nepal’s post-conflict political transition is expanding because of the failure of the Constituent Assembly (CA) to provide a new constitution. Among the most contentious political issues in contemporary Nepal are the failure of decision-makers to design negotiable federal structures, hijacking of the agenda by leading politicians, and the radicalization of ethnic identity. There are also widespread complaints of lack of sincerity in the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), especially regarding reintegration and rehabilitation of Maoist ex-combatants, transitional justice, security sector reform, restructuring of the state, establishment of truth and reconciliation commissions, and sharing of power. Despite that political parties have reached an agreement to constitute a government, the most contentious issues are still not settled and although the election commission may be able to conduct an election in November, there is still a risk of failure of the CA. Even if the election in November is held, there are several issues and challenges confronting the political transition in Nepal, to be discussed in this talk.
Bishnu Raj Upreti holds a PhD from the Netherlands and is currently working as South Asia Regional Coordinator of the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South, a global research and academic organisation addressing challenges to sustainable development. Dr. Upreti also serves as the Director of the Nepal Centre for Contemporary Research, where he is a senior researcher on conflict management, peace and unconventional security. He has written and/or co-edited numerous books on conflict, peace, state-building and security, and published extensively in peer-reviewed international journals and anthologies. Among his latest co-edited books are: Human Security in Nepal: Concepts, Issues and Challenges (2013) and Partnerships in Development-Oriented Research: Lessons Learnt and Challenges Ahead (2012). In addition to his research, Dr. Upreti teaches peace and conflict studies and supervises PhD students at the School of Arts, Kathmandu University. Earlier, he has worked as Research Fellow at King’s College in London and Surrey University, UK. He communicates frequently with policymakers, politicians and the national and international media on Nepal’s armed conflict and peace process. Dr. Upreti is a member of the advisory boards of several national and international organisations, and is currently carrying out research for the PRIO project ‘Making Women Count for Peace: Gender, Empowerment and Conflict in South Asia’.