Symposium on Ethnicity and Federalization

April 21, 2011 00:00
April 21, 2011 00:00
Central Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Tribhuvan University


This symposium seeks to explore and examine arguably the most contentious issue pending in the Constituent Assembly of Nepal, that of whether or not--or to what extent—ethnicity can provide the best possible platform for a federal structure for a new, in-the-making, state of Nepal.

However, the political, economic and cultural—and intellectual--bases of federalization remain to be agreed upon. The search for appropriate bases for erecting a federal structure has also been the single most widely debated public issue.

We believe that there has been less than adequate dialogue and discussion on this important issue among those who have investigated ethnicity the most and, therefore, can legitimately be expected to know it the best. The reference here, of course, is to anthropologists and sociologists who have investigated Nepali society and ethnicity for long, the preceding five decades in particular. We believe that Sociology, Anthropology and allied social sciences are uniquely equipped to handle this theme and to provide intellectually rigorous and insightful perspectives. These disciplines can, we believe, contribute to enrich both public education and the dialogue and negotiation in the Constituent Assembly.


To bring the knowledge and insight of world and international history and theory to bear upon the specificity of the current dialogue on ethnicity and federalization in Nepal.

To give a more solid foundation to Nepal’s federal structure, than has been possible so far, by providing information, knowledge and insights on the interface between ethnicity and federalization to members of the Constituent Assembly and leaders of various political parties.


We are inviting approximately 10 well-known international and an equal number of Nepali sociologists, anthropologists and other social scientists as contributors to this symposium.


The principal participants are members of the Constituent Assembly and its relevant committees. Leaders of political parties represented in the Assembly, leaders of ethnic and ‘non-ethnic’ political organizations, civil society leaders, the media as well as academics and public intellectuals are the other participants.

Host Institution and Organizing Committee

The Central Department of Sociology and Anthropology (CDSA) of the Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, is the host institution for the symposium.