Publication Date

2010

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Karen Blanchard

Abstract

Nepal has been in active conflict over governance and social justice since the late 1980s, with the focus of the conflict shifting from organized military and guerilla violence to processes of negotiation and dialogue just before the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord in 2006. With the peace accord in place, Nepal’s media and civil society have been involving the public in nationwide discussions to create a new constitution and address remaining peace and governance issues. There remain monumental tasks ahead to reach broad understanding on basic options and mechanisms of governance, clarify issues, and overcome deep prejudices, disagreements, and violence. These comprise significant barriers to reaching and implementing nationwide consensus on constitutional and other governance issues sufficient for sustaining peace.

This paper is a case study and analysis of the contexts, processes, and contents of public dialogues on interrelated issues of social justice and sustainable peace in developing a new constitution in Nepal. The focus is on interactive media and other types of civil society forums. The study employs: 1) unstructured and semi-structured interviews of Nepali NGO, interactive media, and other civil society leaders involved in dialogue projects at the nexus of peace, social justice, and the constitutional process; 2) participant observation of public discussions of civil society and government-related leaders on the issues; and 3) review of interactive media pieces, local print media, and NGO written material. Findings include observations about key issues and recommendations for dialogues and analyses of the relationship between social justice, sustainable peace, and constitutional/governance issues in Nepal. The study concludes with a summary and connections to conflict transformation theories, and recommendations for further investigation.

Disciplines

Civic and Community Engagement | Civil Law | Communication Technology and New Media | Constitutional Law | Inequality and Stratification | Peace and Conflict Studies | Politics and Social Change | Social Influence and Political Communication

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