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Citation Information

Type Conference Paper - International Conference on Participatory Democracy
Title The Role of Local Governments in Addressing Caste, Class, and Ethnic Interests: A Participatory Democratic Perspective
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
City Kathmandu
Country/State Nepal
Ethnicity is closely connected to caste and class in the Nepalese society. More specifically, ethnicity and power
relationships persist at the core of caste and class in Nepal. Thus, the multiple dimensions of caste and social class
will not be obvious unless ethnicity and power relationships are deeply examined and comprehended. Moreover, the
contested epistemology of ethnic interests has consistently posed both theoretical and practical subtleties, especially
in the post-2006 political developments of Nepal. Against this background, this paper first identifies and analyzes
the theoretical and practical aspects of ethnic interests and their implications for caste and social class. Further, it
also analyzes how ethnicity, caste, and social class have formed a mutual bond of cooptation in aggravating a
persistent vicious circle in the society. Along with analyzing these problems, this paper also suggests solutions in the
form of three propositions. The main arguments of this paper are—the concept of equal citizen, distribution of risks
and benefits in the form of social welfare, and the rights based approach—advance the theoretical and practical
action programs of a participatory democracy in addressing the caste, class, and ethnic interests in the Nepalese

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