Wednesday, April 27th


Democracy in Nepal: The Local and the National

Nepal has become a republic. The People’s Movement of 2006 demanded an end to violent politics and a return to democracy, but the path is not clear. Nepal is declared a federal country, but the debate on form and content of federalism has barely begun. The unique experiment in local governance ended amidst the political uncertainty. Will it be revived? Will the values of pluralism and participatory democracy thrive?

Kanak Mani Dixit is a journalist, editor and civil rights activist, recognized in Nepal and elsewhere in South Asia as a voice for pluralism and democracy. He has helped shape the debate about his country’s political direction over the last two decades, and worked across many fields to promote the principles of social justice. Founder editor of both Himal Southasian, the liberal and politically independent regional monthly, and the Nepali-language Himal Khabarpatrika newsmagazine, he has sought to be a voice of truth and journalistic integrity.

During the decade-long internal conflict in Nepal, Kanak was involved in documenting atrocities by both the state and the Maoists, and since then he has been working for accountability and justice.

In Nepal and South Asia, Kanak is known for his multiplicity of public interests – writing for children, translations, spinal injury rehabilitation, public accountability, architectural and cultural preservation, South Asian documentaries, public transport, archiving, and animal welfare. His latest book-length work is Peace Politics of Nepal: An Opinion from Within.  He is the recipient of the 2009 Prince Claus Award of the Netherlands for his commitment to culture and development in South Asia.


The Department of South and Southeast Asia Studies, the Graduate School of Journalism, the Media Studies program, the Center of South Asia Studies, Institute of International Studies and the Investigative Reporting Program


Library - North Gate Hall

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