Book: On Civil Society
At a time when the role of the civil
society organizations is in question, the book discusses
various aspects of civil society in Nepal
The Civil Society-State Interface
Editor: Anand Aditya
Published Date: 2011
Published by: Pragya Foundation/Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Price: Not mentioned, Pages:
With the liberalization of political
system in Nepal in 1990,there was a mushrooming growth
in the number of civil society organizations. After the
Peoples Movement II in 2006, another series of floodgates
Despite the increase in the number of
civil society organizations, the Social Welfare Council,
the institution created to regularize these organizations,
failed to perform its duty. In this context, the involvement
of civil society organizations extensively expanded. Over
31,000 NGOs have been working in different parts of Nepal.
Here comes the controversy over their roles and duties.
At a time when there is a growing dispute
and debate over the role of civil society organizations,
the book comes out with the agenda and issue prevailing
in the contemporary society. Every country needs independent
and impartial civil society to self-organize and Nepal
is no exception. However, the recent trend in Nepal is
different. Civil society organizations are ideologically
divided and losing their essential identity.
Nepal boasts a rich tradition
of civic heritage based in the sovereignty of enlightenment
over power and privilege reflected in the wisdom of Sage
Veda Vyas, Videha Janak, Seer Ashtavakra and Buddha the
Enlightened, writes Dev Raj Dahal, head FES Nepal
Office in his foreword. The book captures the foundation
as well as the process of the ongoing formation of Nepals
civil society, to show a way out of the political conundrum
by shoring up the wisdom expounded by the sages, heroes,
and builders of this nation-in-the making whose cosmos
mirrors what humanity deeply aspires for today-living
peacefully in harmony with all living beings.
Dahal rightly pointed out the present
state of civil society organizations and its role in Nepal.
One of the weaknesses of the civil society movement in
Nepal is that there are rare debates over their role.
"One problem is that there has been little public
debate on public goods, public roles and relationships.
It is, however, time now that such a discourse starts
to bring the gap between the private sector of individual
citizens and the political sector of government,"
writes Anand Aditya in his preface.
The book consists of the research papers
presented by many renowned authors of Nepal debating the
role of civil society organizations and their implications
in society. Anand Aditya's From Subjects to Citizens:
Civic Transformation in captive society discusses the
overall process of evolution of civil society in Nepal.
Dev Raj Dahal's paper The Enlightenment Tradition of Nepal:
Can the Civil Society Grasp It discuss the long history
of Nepalese process of civil society. Similarly, journalist
Yubaraj Ghimire discusses challenges of citizenship building
CD Bhatta's paper The Civil Society-State
Interface highlights how civil society is supplementing
and complementing in the process of national development
and institutional growth.
Anjoo Sharan Upadhyaya and Hemraj Subedi's
paper discusses the role of civil society in the peace
process of Nepal in the last eight years.Tika Prasad Dhakal's
paper highlights the role civil society has been playing
in Nepal in the areas of peace politics. Dr. Sambhuram
Simkhada's paper reflection of civil society helps to
learn the evolution of civil society organizations in
Nepal. Tone Bleie's paper Multi-track approaches to peace
building in Nepal and Julius Engel's article on challenges
on transitional justice system in Nepal discusses the
role played by civil society organizations in Nepal. Pramod
Mishra analyzes the role of opinion polls in the civil
society in Nepal in 2011.
Published by Pragya Foundation and Friedrich
Ebert Foundation, the book analyzes the civil society
movements and their contributions in the Nepalese society
and their inter-relations with state.
Source: New Spotlight Fortnightly
(30 August - 12 September 2013)