From the Hills to the Streets to the Table: Civil Resistance and Peacebuilding in Nepal

This case study builds on Véronique Dudouet’s 2017 ICNC Special Report, Powering to Peace: Integrated Civil Resistance and Peacebuilding Strategies. Utilizing Dudouet’s framework, we trace the development of conflict in Nepal over the past thirty years, with a specific emphasis on the 2006 civil resistance campaign and subsequent peace process that led to the resolution of the country’s decade-long Maoist insurgency.

What were the drivers of social and political conflict in Nepal that led to the 2006 civil resistance campaign? How were the Maoists convinced to transition from armed insurgency to civil resistance? What accounts for the success and failures of the subsequent peace process? Leveraging the Dudouet framework, we trace the trajectory of conflict from a period of latent conflict with high levels of horizontal inequalities and structural violence to an outbreak of overt, but initially violent conflict. We then illustrate how a transition from civil war to civil resistance was made possible and led to a successful conflict settlement. However, flaws in the conflict settlement and post-conflict phases have produced a turbulent post-settlement process, one that falls short of the goals of reconciliation, transitional justice, and sustainable peace.

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