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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Conflict, Security & Development
Title Empowering peace: service provision and state legitimacy in Nepal’s peace-building process
Volume 16
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 53-73
URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14678802.2016.1136138
There is growing demand for an understanding of peace beyond the
absence of violence. As such research focuses increasingly on the issue
of state legitimacy as a tool to assess and understand peace processes.
In this paper the relationship between service provision and state
legitimacy is studied to assess whether the provision of services
like electricity to rural communities of war-torn countries through
state actors contributes to the consolidation of the post-war political
system. The qualitative analysis of two localities in post-war Nepal
highlights that service provision in the form of electricity through
micro-hydropower yields tremendously positive socio-economic
efects for rural communities. However, socio-economic development
in combination with interactions among villagers has strengthened
local autonomy through emphasising alternative local governance
structures. This highlights that the relationship between service
provision and state legitimacy is more complex than previous research
anticipates. The absence of a positive efect on state legitimacy raises
the question of whether in its current case-specifc form service
provision is conducive to the broader peace-building eforts in postwar
Nepal, because it stresses the divide between state and society.

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