The role of civil society in shaping democratic Civil-Military Relations during political transition in Nepal
Satyal, Bhuwan Purna
Matei, Florina Cristiana
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This thesis examines the role of civil society in shaping democratic Civil-Military Relations (CMR) through several political transitions in Nepal, with an emphasis on the current period. Since its first experience with democracy in 1950, the king interrupted Nepal’s pursuit of consolidation until the political revolution of 2006; afterwards, democratic consolidation at the official level has revolved around seeking consensus among the political leaders. This over-focus has led to incomplete consolidation and weakened the formal democratic institutions of control. Civil society, on the other hand, has played a variety of roles to greater effect during consolidation, including military affairs and CMR. This thesis analyzes the contributions of three selected civil society groups—the media, Nagarik Samaj, and human rights organizations—to democratic civilian control of the security forces. This thesis finds that despite civil society’s focus on political activities, it has significantly influenced and helped in shaping effective democratic CMR during Nepal’s transition to democracy. However, civil society’s further assistance is required in writing the constitution to drive the country toward the completion of the consolidation, which will ultimately shape strong democratic CMR.
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