Aug. 26, 2010, 11:07 a.m.
Nepal has endured a tumultuous decade of political strife. Although a peace agreement in 2006 ended the Maoist insurgency, the country still struggles to reach consensus. The government has failed to meet its own deadline for writing a constitution, infrastructure needs to be built, and paralysis in the parliament has prevented any substantive policy from being written. Most recently the country's parliament has failed five times to elect a prime minister. Despite these troubles, many observers believe that Nepal is in the midst of some sort of transition process. Social mobilization has increased as the population has become more aware of human rights, and rights pertaining to women and minorities. Jeevan Raj Sharma and Antonio Donini have published a report from Tufts University, which explores their findings from two-years of field research on local perceptions of social transformation in rural Nepal. The authors conclude that significant social transformation has occurred, and that increased political awareness will alter expectations among Nepal's poor.