Running head: DEMOCRACY PROCESS IN NEPAL
Journey to Republic: The European Union’s Involvement in Democracy -Building in Nepal
Name of the Student
Name of the University
1 DEMOCRACY PROCESS IN NEPAL
The study assessed the European Union’s involvement in aiding Nepal’s fast transition from a
kingdom to a democrat country. Its citizens exerted authority on the government regime through
elected leaders . Nepal had tried to switch from a kingdom to a democratic republic before but it
had failed . Still, it had failed in most attempts because the kingdom’s leadership would not allow
democratic ideologies to be integrated into the country’s governance. The study used qualitative
secondary reviews , and case studies with the help of process tracing approach to pinpoint and
establish the role that EU p layed in helping Nepal become a democratic country. Nepal’s fast
transition from monarchy to a democratic republic was largely due to the European Union’s
support. The study used primary and secondary sources and case studies to assess the
significance of the EU’s role in enabling Nepal’s democratic transition. The European Union
played a crucial role in helping Nepal become a democratic country. The EU began democratic
efforts in Nepal in 2006. It provided humanitarian assistance and financi al aid .
2 DEMOCRACY PROCESS IN NEPAL
Tabl e of Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction ………………………….. ………………………….. ………………………….. ………………. 3
1.1 Introduction ………………………….. ………………………….. ………………………….. ……………………… 3
1.2 Background of study ………………………….. ………………………….. ………………………….. …………. 4
1.3 Research Aim ………………………….. ………………………….. ………………………….. …………………… 5
1.4 Research Objective ………………………….. ………………………….. ………………………….. …………… 5
1.5 Research questions ………………………….. ………………………….. ………………………….. ……………. 6
Reference ………………………….. ………………………….. ………………………….. ………………………….. …… 24
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Chapter 1: Introduction
Nepal is a landlocked country in the Himalayas. It shares a border with India and Tibet. It
is rich in cultural history. It is currently a democratic country with US$ 33.66 billion and a
population of 29.14 billion ( World Bank, 2022) . Nepal is a democratic country, but its history of
demo cracy is not long. The country received its democracy in 2015. However, the journey to
democracy started long ago, in 1950, after the end of the Rana Regime that ruled the lands of
Nepal for 104 years. The initiation of democratization occurred in 1950, bu t King Mahendra
Bikram Shah suppressed it in 1960 ( Guragain, 2021) . The party -less system was the strategy
used by the King to maintain its control over the country. The King had convinced that the party
less system was the key to achieving success, given the country’s demography. The said system
continued in the country without any restraint till 1990. From the start of the 1990s, the
movement for creating a democratic nation started in Nepal. Many efforts were taken to establish
democracy in Nepal ( Lawoti , 2007) . The mass movement helped to establish democracy during
the middle years of the 1990s, but the inability to create a stable political condition under
democracy it could not sustain. As a result, it took 25 years from 1990 to establish the desired
democracy. It is found that European Union (EU) supported Nepal in its cause of establishing
democracy. The EU provided various aid and had taken many strategies such that Nepal could
achieve its goal of democratizing the country ( Lakier, 2007) . Therefore, the objective of this
paper is to study the involvement of the EU in the process of democratization of Nepal.
However, the paper assesses the involvement of the EU by studying the democratization process
during the years 2000 to 2015.
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1.2 Background of th e study
The concept of democracy emerged in Nepal in 1950 after the mass revolution against the
then Rana regime. However, the concept could not materialize due to the active monarchy and
the party less system introduced by King Mahendra. This continued t ill 1990; the Nepali
Congress Party initiated a mass movement to establish democracy. On the contrary, this
movement was disrupted in 2002 when king Gyanendra took over the power, and it was done
again in 2005. However, with the massive participation of 4 million people in the country, the
democracy in Nepal was re -established.
Moreover, it should be noted that correct measures could have sustained the democracy
established in the early 1990s, and the policies were taken. After establishing the democracy in
1990, a multiparty system was established, and a clear specification of that has been made in the
constitution. Three parliamentary elections after establishing democracy in the 1990s were
conducted in Nepal. The elections were conducted in 1991, 1994 a nd 1999. Along with that,
local elections were conducted in 1992 and 1997 ( Hachhethu, 2009) . However, this democracy
did not last long due to the emergence of unsuitable adversities for running a democratic country.
It is found that the major reason behind arising of an unsustainable democratic system in Nepal
in the 1990s was inter -party and intraparty conflicts. Along with that rise in corruption, poor
governance, misuse of power, loopholes in the constitution and high unemployment weakened
the democracy of the country.
Apart from that, there was a high frequency of government change ( Jeffery, 2021) . The
sudden rise in power of the Communist Party of Nepal and the NC party made the multiparty
system democracy a two -party system. It destroyed the essence o f democracy in Nepal. This
continuation of the rise in anarchy and political instability led to the establishment of the
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monarchy system in Nepal in 2002 again when King Gyanendra seized power from the
democratic government. Therefore, it can be said that Nepal went through political instability
during the entire process of democratization. By the time it had been realized, it was difficult for
Nepal to complete the entire democratization process on its own ( Basu, 2020) . The country
required proper strategy and support that could lead to democracy. Studies showed that Nepal
received this face. It has been found that the United States supported Neola significantly by
providing fund aid to the country to make national expenditures.
Under Marshall Plan, the Un ited States provided NPR 268 billion to Nepal. The fund
helped the country reduce the poverty level to a great extent and helped construct roads, establish
industries, and conduct other infrastructural activities. Apart from the United States, Nepal
receiv ed aid from the European Union. The EU countries collaborated with organizations related
to marginalized groups of women and the people belonging to the Dalit class, people fighting for
human rights and democracy and people supporting the cause of the excl uded groups. Apart
from that, EU countries were involved in developing various projects in Nepal, such as
veterinary services, rural development, irrigation development, aviation development and
education development programmes. Additionally, it is found t hat EU countries supported Nepal
in its democracy.
1.3 Research Aim
The EU supported Nepal in various ways, including the development of the country and
the process of democratization. Therefore, the aim of this study is to find out the role that the EU
played in helping Nepal attain its democracy .
1.4 Research Objective
ï‚· To find the role of the EU in helping Nepal to become a democratic .
6 DEMOCRACY PROCESS IN NEPAL
ï‚· To find the agenda of the EU in the promotion of d emocracy in Nepal.
ï‚· To find if the EU promoted democracy in Nepal via aid.
ï‚· To find the interest of the EU in promoting democracy in Nepal.
1.5 Research questions
ï‚· Did EU play a specific role in helping Nepal attain democracy?
ï‚· What was the agenda of EU promot ing democracy in Nepal?
ï‚· Did EU promote democracy in Nepal through Aid?
ï‚· Whether there is a particular local and global interest in EU endorsing in Nepal?
1.6 S tudy Rationale
The study is important as the findings summarize how the EU , and other players helped
Nepal to transition from a kingdom to an independent country. Initially, Nepalese were unable to
attain democracy on their own. The study results will be crucial in creating a tactical bilateral
agreement between Nepal and the European Union for present and upcoming cohorts , given the
European Union’s support in Nepal’s democratic transition. As Nepal is still young as matters of
democracy are concerned, therefore it needs guidance and direction from a reputable member of
the global community. As a result, identifying the best international partner for the country
requires consideration of those that were instrumental in the process of democracy.
Chapter 2: Literature Review
2.1: Whether EU played a particular role in helping Nepal a ttain democracy
Nepal is making the third attempt to get democracy since 1951 (Hachhethu, 2009). In the
2007 -13 approach, the European Commission has identified peacebuilding and education as the
two main areas of its support. The support for peace buildi ng and education significantly
contributed to Nepal’s goal of restructuring the country into a democracy . In the European
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Commission aid package of 2002 -06 of EUR 70 million, EUR 56 million were allocated to
poverty reduction, EUR 10 million for democracy programs, and the remaining EUR4
integration into the international economy. Factors like political instability and insurgency, and
poverty made the concept of conflict mitigation key to EC initiatives. The overall goal of EC was
to reduce poverty and cont rol conflict, which was to be realized in short term goals, medium –
term goals and long term goals. The EC shifted interest from contributing to democracy through
economic cooperation to democracy promotion through conflict alleviation to reduce the effect
of armed insurgency. During the Maoist insurgency, it led to the death of some 14000 Nepalis.
Hachhethu (2009) asserts that in the 2007 -13 approach, signalled education and
peacebuilding are the two primary areas to support Nepal. The EU has mediated in four main
areas : the rule of law, human rights, conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and the democratization
strengthening process. In the last CA election transition period, the EU prioritized inclusive
democracy, constitution -making, and peacebuilding. Th e EU has had great interest and used a lot
of resources to contribute to peace in Nepal by focusing on particular areas of interest.
Financial help to Nepal is one of the specific role that EU’s played in helping Nepal to
become a democracy. The European Economic Community (ECC) had offered significant
economic help to Nepalis starting from the 1970s when diplomatic ties were establishe d with the
country. The ECC offered support to education programs, health, and humanitarian assistance.
Therefore, the financial help of the EU to Nepal was to promote economic stability and empower
poor Nepalis and safeguard people from human rights injustices that the government perpetrated,
particularly those fighting for democracy. Reflecting on the last twenty years of EU aid to Nepal
in the democratization of Nepal, the aid assistance has been increasing based on the new political
situation. The new EU Nepal Cooperation program was adopted in 2014 to run to 2020; its funds
8 DEMOCRACY PROCESS IN NEPAL
were tripled to â‚¬ 360 million to help rural d evelopment, enhance quality education, reinforce
democratic governance and create jobs.
Another specific role played by EU in the democratization process in Nepal was
application of diplomatic pressure. Due to the humanitarian crisis observed in Nepal af ter
domestic wars and internal clashes , the EU initiated diplomatic pressure on Nepal’s government
to uphold and safeguard human rights. Part of the diplomatic pressure placed on the Nepal
government by the EU was to ensure that democracy prevail in the co untry as the kingdom could
not safeguard and reserve peoples’ rights and privileges, as demonstrated through the deaths of
over 14000 people in Nepal due to the nonstop wars since 1990 (Limbu, 2020).
2.2: The EU Democracy promotion agenda in Nepal
In 201 8, the Saferworldâ€™s Myanmar team visited Nepal to learn from their colleagues.
Some differences and similarities were learned from the concluded conflict and peace
agreements. Nepal’s civil war was fueled by widespread discontent due to a history of
margin alization, discrimination based on gender and identity, poor governance and endemic
inequality. The push behind Nepal’s move toward federalism was the same as Myanmar. Nepal
saw federalism as a solution to control diversity, promote democracy, and enhance
administrative transparency and development across the country. The peace accord was signed in
2006, and a new constitution was enacted in 2015, encouraging a federal -state model.
Agreements have ended large scale violence in Nepal, but there are several u nderlying
grievances yet to be addressed (Smith et al., 2020) . Although the federal model in Nepal has
been faulted for failing to deal with the rooted marginalization of some native communities ,
various groups have interpreted its vision differently; hence, resulting in further polarization.
9 DEMOCRACY PROCESS IN NEPAL
On the other hand, in Myanmar, the peace is slowly progressing well. The Myanmar
Armed Forces and government struck a deal to ceasefire nationwide in 2015 . The two parties
committed to dialogue to develop a federal system of government as proposed by EAOs.
Federalism is considered a crucial part of any solution in creating endurance peace, which
ensures ethnic groups equally have a say in governance (Smith et al., 2020). Same to Nepal, non –
inclusivity is the main issue. Over 20 of Myanmar’s several ethnic armed organizations have yet
to sign NCA, and conflicts over 60 years, conflicts have lowered trust among the conflicting
parties. Also, in Myanmar, the go vernment does not trust the EAOs, and EAOs do not trust the
government, which hinders peace.
2.3: Democracy promotion by the EU in Nepal
According to Gellner and Hachhethu (2008), one of the international community
members actively participating in Nepal’ s democratic process was the European Union. Nepal
and the (ECC) formed a formal mutual collaboration in 1975, working together in education,
humanitarian aid, and business. According to Khatri (2009), massive human rights breaches
fueled the EU’s concerns about Nepal’s democratic process, as seen by the maltreatment , tyranny ,
and killing of thousands of citizens who were fighting for democracy (Khatri 2009). According
to Kugiel (2012), most of the deaths happened in the Maoist uprising , which claimed the l ives of
over 14,000 people from 1996 to 2005.
2.3.1 Economic Help
The European Economic Community (ECC), according to Borzel and Risse (2004), has
played a crucial role in helping Nepal economically since it started the diplomatic ties with the
country the 1970s. due to bad governance in the country, people were negatively affected, and
the European Economic Community (ECC) supported economic activities in the nation through
10 DEMOCRACY PROCESS IN NEPAL
health, humanitarian assistance and education. Bhatta (2019) asserts that the ro le of EU
economic help to Nepal was planned to boost the countryâ€™s economic strength and enable its
underprivileged population, and shield citizens from human rights abuses committed by the
regime , mainly to people fighting for democracy.
2.3.2 Diplomatic Push
According to Calingaert, Puddington, and Repucci (2014), the European Union began
exerting diplomatic pressure on Nepal’s government in response to the humanitarian crisis
caused by the country’s prevalence of civil wars and internal conflicts, demand ing that it uphold
and protect human rights to reduce the country’s prevalence of human rights violations. In a
similar spirit, part of the EU’s diplomatic push on Nepal’s government encouraged the adoption
of democratic principles, given the monarchy’s fa ilure to protect and defend the people’s rights
and privileges. The death of about 14,000 people demonstrates this.
2.3.3. Cohesion on Ethnic and Local Restructure of Nepal
According to Nayak (2008), the EU aided Nepal’s democratic process by expressing
ha rmony on racial and regional reorganization, that was attained after the country achieved
democracy, as seen through the establishment of the Constituent Assembly, where members
from all over the country had an equal opportunity of representation . The EU’s support for
regional restructuring in Nepal was due to inequality representation in government as other
people from other parts of the country were not well represented . Democracy, according to
Khatri (2009), permits the country’s leadership and governance structure to be reformed,
allowing for unbiased representation of people from all parts of the country, and adequate
allocation of resource .
2.3.4: Interest in promoting democracy by the EU in Nepal
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One of the main reasons that EU developed in terest to support democracy in Nepal was
due to the high incidences of violations of observed through oppression, torture and killing of
thousands of Nepalis fighting for democracy (Limbu, 2020). A significant part of the deaths
occurred during the 1996 t o 2005 Maoist insurgency that led to the deaths of over 14000 people.
Hence, the EU was alarmed with this occurrence in Nepal as part of its global strategy was to
safeguard , uphold and reserve human rights.
2.4 2.4. Theory of Evol utionary Governance (EGT)
EGT best defined research study concept as it aimed to understand the tactical role that
EU played in helping Nepal attain its democracy . This research study’s theoretical framework is
beneficial since it examines and elucidates the governance proc edure and its progress over time.
The EGT outline examined governance’s intricate and non -linear nature by identifying that
government and its components continuously interact , focusing on the co -evolution described by
organizations , players , and discourse s. The framework will enable Nepal to achieve its
objectives (Teorelland, 2019) .
2.5. Conceptual Framework
The study examined the European Unionâ€™s role in supporting Nepal’s democratic
transition. Several instances of its involvement in Nepal’s peace process were discovered
throughout the literature review, which will aid in formulating the study’s results and
suppositions . The research observes the role of the Europe an Union in Nepal’s democratic
transition to see if it aided or hampered the country’s goal of becoming a self -governing .
Therefore , the process of democracy in Nepal is dependent variable while the involvement of the
European Union in the process of democ racy i s an independent variable.
2.6 Research gap.
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The research study addresses a gap in the EU’s engagement in Nepal’s democratic
process. It is recognized that Nepal became a democratic nation in 2008, with the European
Union playing a significant role in the process. Though , it is unclear how the EU participated in
the entire process, and the influence of its presence in realization of democracy in Nepal. As a
result, the research study addresses the underlying questions by conducting qualitative
assess ments of secondary sources.
Chapter 3: Research Methodology
The method used in this research is process tracing. Process -tracing methods refer to
tools to examine causal relationships in one case in research design. Process tracing is commonly
used in social science to track causal association. The causal mechanism, in this case, is defined
as an intricate system tha t yields an outcome following the interaction of several parts.
Therefore, process tracing entails the efforts to figure out the intervening causal process in the
dependent and dependent variables (Beach, & Pedersen, 2019). Examining causal mechanisms
help s deepen the causality relationship and identify the intermediate factors within the structural
cause and its supposed effect. Process tracing can be broken into three parts: theory testing,
theory -building and explaining the outcome. This study uses the t hird variant of process tracing
to explain the outcome. Explaining outcome process tracing tries to develop a sufficient
explanation of a mysterious outcome in a particular historical case. The goal is to develop a
sufficient explanation for the result of a case where the motivations are more case -centric rather
than based on theory.
3.2 Justification of the Method
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Process -tracing is a suitable method for this study. Due to the nature of the study, it seeks
to examine the democratization process in Nepal, where European Union and other players like
China played a significant role until the country attained democracy. The process of democracy
in Nepal was long and had obstacles along the way. It is worth understanding the process, how it
unfolded, and what made it a success . Therefore, to answer questions surrounding the process,
process tracing is a suitable approach as it seeks to examine the causal relationship between the
dependent and independent variables. It sings deeper to identify the intermediate f actors and their
effects on the outcome of a particular case in history (Beach, & Pedersen, 2019) . Hence, process
tracing was a suitable approach to this study.
3.3. Data Collection
The data was collected via case studies, which were preferred due to th e study’s
explanatory research approach. Howitt (2016) assert that case studies are a procedure or a record
of research that led to the growth of a certain individual , group, or state across time. The case
study in this research assessed Nepal’s democratization process. An in -depth analysis of the
European Union’s involvement was conducted to i dentify its role and whether its presence
positively or negatively contributed to Nepal attaining its demo cracy . The study needed excellent
secondary sources to generate thorough case studies on the democratization process, which were
found using the following search method.
Chapter 4: Results and Discussion
4.1.1. Process of Democracy in Nepal
The study has established that the struggle for democracy in Nepal dates back to 1940s
and 1950s, when Nepalese began to show displeasure with the Kingdom form of leadership that
granted King all powers, and the hereditary passage of leadership , effectively preventing any
14 DEMOCRACY PROCESS IN NEPAL
potential of the people contributing to how the country is governed . Moreover , the kingdom’s
mistreatment of Nepalese produced dissatisfaction and denied them equal participation in
governance of the country.
The process for fighting for democracy in Nepal started in 1951 when the Nepalese
revolted against the rule of Kingdom -ship. People demanded a democratic government that
would enable them participate in electing their leaders . Planned rebellion by Nepalese started in
1946 but was greeted with a comprehensive counter -offensive by the palace, which dispatched
soldiers to face the armed revolutionists (Khaniya & Sharma, 2018) . The rebels’ patience paid
out, and Nepal first experienced democracy in 1951 following the King â€™s signing a noble order
allo wing for the adoption of partial government in Nepal.
However, the provisions of democracy were limited in Nepal at its introduction, both in
expression and application. For example, the general populace had no say in who led the country
or what policies w ere implemented for their benefit. Without the people’s consent, the King
played a role in the selection of the people that would represent others . According to Lawoti
(2019), the democratic government in place was not democratic as Nepalese had thought, a nd the
benefits that democratic citizens enjoy were absent.
Ruler Mahendra has presented the panchayat framework in Nepal, which upheld a non –
partisan agent framework at the illustrious court and a dynamic government. Amid the fractional
popular governme nt within the nation, the lord, to begin with, drawn nearer the open through his
open pioneers to distinguish one of them who would speak to the public’s best interface at the
illustrious court. In any case, with the heading of the modern ruler, all activi ties of the
commoners within the determination of their pioneers were cancelled. Paudel and Pahari (2020)
found that the lord, by and by chosen court agents from each locale, favoured and compensated
15 DEMOCRACY PROCESS IN NEPAL
his mental cases and passionate devotees in differentiat e to fair -minded pioneers with a profound
craving to serve their individuals. Besides, the dynamic government forced by the ruler
eliminated any plausibility of building up or reintroducing popular government within the nation
since the ruler had outright control and specialist within the nation, and the other arms of
government were his manikins sealing.
During the 30 years , a long time after the 1960 topple, no major political exercises were
seen inside the country since of the strict commands from the Master to boycott all political
parties, political affiliations, and political advancements inside the country. The people had to
require after and stand with the government’s specialists or stand up to noncompliance. Most of
the political activist in Nepal were imprisoned for life or executed for committing political
crimes . Thirty years of abuse of the government on its peop le propelled them to require a
definitive courage and turn against the nation’s administration, defined the key changes in
Nepales e in 1990 s. In truth, the essential people’s advancement inside the country endeavoured
inside 1990, defined by major advancem ents of the masses on streets of Nepal.
Political parties that were operating underground due to tensions in the country came to
light. For example, Nepali Congress Party (NC) solidified the support of other pol itical parties to
push kingdom’s administra tion specifically, requesting the foundation of a vote -based political
system within the nation. Jeffery (2017) expressed that Nepal’s primary people’s development in
1990 effectively reintroduced popular government within the nation after 30 a long time. 28 The
political party was not driven by the individuals in requesting for popular government within the
nation but too pushed for the foundation of a sacred government in Nepal, as a substitution of the
genetic government, which was to share administratio n of the nation with a parliamentary
majority rule government. In this respect, the Nepalese had a democratic opportunity.
16 DEMOCRACY PROCESS IN NEPAL
4.1.2. The EU Participation in Nepalâ€™s Democratization
Lawoti (2019) argues that what interested EU in supporting democracy in Nepal was the
desire of Nepalese for a democratic country and constant wars , which led to the need of a vote
based system within the nation . The Maoist guerilla supported the Gracious War, which
supported aggressors to lock in the government forces and off ered to present a majority rule
go vernment within the nation. The consequence of the War claimed the lives of ove r 17,000
individuals . These individuals misplaced their lives amid the gracious conflict seen within the
nation as the fight toward vote based system seethed on. Other than that, it is recognized that
more than 4000 Nepalese died following the Maois t Advancement from 1996 to 2005.
Additionally, 8200 other people were killed by the regime in the same period . Hence , the reasons
for people to push for a democratic country are clear, which clarified the closeness of the EU in
Nepal with the aim to address the challenge that was facing Nepalese.
In this respect, it is outstanding that the EU chose to bolster Nepal to attain its vote based
system fro m the tyrannical government input since it was as it were through an equitably chosen
and introduced government that the predominance of respectful conflict and a humanitarian crisis
would pass on down within the nation. Paudel and Pahari (2020) argue that the EU was
committed to contributing toward struggle moderation by giving bolster to the establishment of
centre lawful teaching; presenting programs outlined to help the people affected by conflicts , and
improving the chances of Nepal to realize peace . Due to the continuous was that had been
witnessed in Nepal, there were many causalities of the war in the country that were suffering
from both emotional and physical wounds that needed support. Nepalese that had engaged in the
wars had either suffered phys ical wounds, or some were suffering from losing their relatives .
17 DEMOCRACY PROCESS IN NEPAL
Their predominance within the nation was inferable to distinctive recognitions of favoured
models of administration shared by the open and the government.
The age between 1990 and 2015 was the key to the organization of vote -based system in
Nepal (Paudel & Pahari, 2020) . The two effective People’s Developments were conducted that
presented partial and full majority rule government the nation individually. Throughou t this
period, the EUâ€™s interest in Nepal was evidenced through its support and organization of vital
areas linked to the administration and human rights within the nation, which driven to the
establishment of democracy in Nepal and the abolishment of the innate government. Songbird et
al. (2020) included that the truth guided the EU’s back for a democratization of Nepal and that
popular government would encourage political steadiness, social change, financial advancement,
and, most critically, maintaining of human rights within the nation, taking after its change into a
government law -based and inclusive republic. Besides, it is additionally apparent that the EU did
not, as it were, back Nepal to pick up majority rule government but moreover backed it to at tain
financial solidness through marking of respective exchange ties with the republic.
To cultivate assist participants in Nepal, the EU shaped an EU -Nepal relations
constitution, whose key part was to clarify advertisements execute EU arrangements in Ne pal,
investigate and report the financial, social , and political circumstances in the country , and carry
out vital arrangements given by its order. Jeffery (2017) argues that in Nepal’s background , the
EU is centred on three fundamental segments: instructi on, peace and solidness, exchange help,
and financial capacity building. Typically in expansion to other additional programs that EU
conducted in Nepal included assurance and advancement of human rights, lightening and
dispensing with a helpful emergency, tending to things relating to nourishment security, natural
18 DEMOCRACY PROCESS IN NEPAL
preservation and assurance, viable administration of the open fund, secure movement, and
presentatio n of economic utilization and generation hones.
4.1.3. International interest in Democracy Process in Nepal
According to the report, the U.S , China and the European Union , and Russia were the
main foreign players interested in Nepal’s democratization, wit h each international entity
pursuing its own goals. They all have their special interests while supporting the country’s
democratic process and doing all they can to aid citizens of Nepal. The interests ranged from
natural resources, trade opportunities an d economic benefits among others .
Since the two nations signed the Sino -Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship on April 28,
1960, relations between Nepal and China have remained amicable. Jeffery (2017) states that the
Chinese was keen in maintaining the ties it had with Nepal. As a result, China did not actively
participate in the democratization process in Nepal. Therefore, it was not perceived as explicitly
supporting the people’s demand for democracy from the Kingdom form of government that was
oppressing them . Following the signing of Sino -Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship , relations
between Nepal and China have remained amicable.
Over the years, China has provided minimal international assistance to Nepal in
restructur ing its political institutions and systems to ensure political stability and progress. As a
result, this explains why, despite having a strong partner, the Nepal ese had to fight for so long
before achieving their democracy ambitions. Ghimire (2017) postula tes that lack of China to
actively help the people of Nepal push for democracy in their country was due to protect its
image with the government. Maintaining good relationship with Nepal was key to China as it
would continue with its economic and territori al progress to the Himalayan country. China is is
19 DEMOCRACY PROCESS IN NEPAL
presently leading contributor to Nepal’s FDI , meaning that maintaining the status quo will benefit
China greatly economically. Contrary, India is another major country that border Nepal, and it
has employed over 1 million Nepalese migrant workers compared to less than 10000 Nepalese
migrant workers in China. .
European Union Relations
The European Union was identified as Nepal’s most suitable international partner , after it
has supported the country for several years including its push for democracy . The EU Delegation
office in Kathmandu was elevated to ambassadorial status in December 2009 due to the
friendship that existed between the EU and Nepal . As a result, the bilateral relationship is based
on sha red ideals and foundations such as peace , human rights, democracy , democratic
government, and prosperity. The regular travels of EU lawmakers to Nepal bolstered bilateral
ties between the two nations, demonstrating the EU’s commitment to restoring stabilit y and
peace in Nepal, which had been devastated by years of civil unrest due to the democratic process.
The European Union deployed observers to Nepal’s Constituent Assembly elections in 2008 and
The EU was instrumental in aiding Nepal’s peace proce ss, which resulted in a seamless
shift from kingdom to a democra cy in April 2006. Indeed, the EU was committed to ensure that
Nepal restore peace and protect human rights in country 35. It emphasized the necessity of
building trust and upholding the rule o f law and human rights in the country . The EU was a
powerful and reliable socioeconomic partner of Nepal, assisting the country to grow and develop
economically ( ChacÃ³n & Paik (2017) . In reality, it is Kathmandu’s greatest global trade partner,
consuming most of Nepal’s exports. The trade connections between the EU and Nepal have
improved in r ecent years.
20 DEMOCRACY PROCESS IN NEPAL
The study looked at the European Union’s role in Nepal’s democracy process from 2000
to 2015, specifically focusing on the role of EU from 2000 to 2015. Based on this research , the
EU was the active member of the international community in Nepal’s democratic +process;
however other nations such as the US and China also helped Nepal’s to attain stability and pea ce,
the results that concur with ChacÃ³n and Paik’s (2017) results . Following EU identification of
Nepal as a country that is in need of help, it established formal bi -lateral relations in 1975. As a
result, the EU began promoting human rights freedoms in N epal from the start, demanding the
regime to advocate and preserve the people’s constitutional rights, consistent with Jeffery’s
findings. At the same time, the EU started to push for the democracy in Nepal.
The study results were in concurrence with Ghimire’s (2017) results , which found that the
international community’s involvement in peace building process, particularly the role performed
by the EU, was crucial in hastening Nepal’s democratic transition. The kingdom form of
governance was against co nstitutional changes in Nepal . The desire of the king was to rein in
power, and have absolute power in the country . Indeed, extreme force was employed to revolt
against the monarchy , resulting in the deaths of nearly 14,000 Nepalese throughout the country
during the struggle for freedom . These study findings were in line with Acharya and Zafarullah
(2018), that had stated that the King ruled the country undemocratically that resulted to
oppression of people who were against kingdom.
In 2008, p eople were empowered to stand up to the repressive government due to the
EU’s support in this historical event, leading to the victorious overthrow of the totalitarian state
and establishing a democratic country . The same result were reported by Karaman and Cernov
(2017) where second peoples’ movement was perceived as a suitable approach to attain
21 DEMOCRACY PROCESS IN NEPAL
democracy in Nepal . However, its success was contingent on international support, particularly
from the European Union, which ruled over the government and demanded that it uphold the
people’s justice and human rights. From this perspective, it’s worth noting that the EU backed
Nepal’s transition from kingdom to democracy because as it held that through democracy, human
rights of those oppressed were going to be protected . Amardeep and Rupinder’s (2019) reported
the same findings, which stated that a democratic form of government enabled people to
participate in their country governance either indirectly of directly through elections of
The EU also involved in the Nepal’s democratization process through institutional and
structural support, enabling the country to carry out free and fair elections in 2008 , as well as
equipping the country to build and enable vital organizations that would ensure the c ountry
realize an enduring stability and sustainability. These study findings were in consistent with
Lawoti (2019) findings , that stated that EU had its observers in Nepal during the 2008 and 2013
Constituent Assemblies elections to ensure fairness , as p art of the country’s essential pillars of
democracy, strengthening. Furthermore, according to the report, EU parliamentarians
collaborated with Nepal’s Constituent Assembly to assist develop and promulgate the country’s
most participatory and inclusive con stitutional amendments, which is another significant pillar of
aiding the democratic process. These conclusions aligned with Paudel and Pahari 38 (2020), who
stated that Nepal’s new constitution was successfully promulgated in 2015 by the second
democratic ally elected Constituent Assembly.
In this light, it is clear that findings of the study in addressing the r esearch questions
confirmed the strategic role that the EU played , as a significant global player , in Nepal’s
democratic process. Nightingale et al. (2019) reported the same findings that stated that the EU
22 DEMOCRACY PROCESS IN NEPAL
helped Nepal reform its governance structure and supported Nepal to develop and improve its
institutions to realize stability and peace that is long -lasting . These results also co ncur with
Khaniya and Sharma s (2018) findings . They established that economic collaboration between
Nepal and EU , which consumes most of Nepal’s exports, aided its institutional and capacity
growth. As a result, it is reasonable to say that Nepal’s democra tic restoration would have taken
far longer without the EU’s assistance.
Chapter Five: Conclusion
The study’s goal was to assess the role that European Union played to help Nepal to shift
from kingdom form of governance to democratic in 2008 when the coun try first participated in
free and fair elections . The study found that realization of democracy in Nepal was not easy as
there was the killing of the innocent people that were committed to the course of democracy in
the country . Based on the study’s concl usions, the process of democracy in Nepal began in the
1940s, and ended in 2008 when the country officially shifted from kingdom to democracy. In the
62 years that people fought for democracy, Nepalese were oppressed by a tyrant regime that has
not tolerated what it considered to be a challenge to the Hindu kingdom’s heritable power .
During the study, it was discovered that Nepal joined the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in
2006, following a 10 -year civil conflict. The elected Con stituent Assembly’s four -year tenure
was cut short due to the failure to produce a new constitution due to disagreements regarding the
integration of Maoist army, independent federalism, and federal rights. Although the second
Constituent Assembly was re -elected, the majority of members of the elected Constituent
Assembly eventually declared the new constitution of Nepal in 2015. Given that the transitions
in Nepal had to take long, the country was unable to attain results that people wanted by the
people . There are some Nepalese that are still not contended with the available constitution .
23 DEMOCRACY PROCESS IN NEPAL
However, following Nepal’s shift to a democratic system, there has been some stability in the
government . Therefore, those that are elected at lead for five years, ensuri ng Nepal’s political
stability in the international arena.
Based on the study findings, the European Union has a commitment to ensure human
rights are protected and offer humanitarian aid to communities that are vulnerable around the
world; therefore, it played a crucial role to ensure that Nepal transition from a Kingdom to a
democratic country in which the King no longer has total power over the country . Nepalese now
exercise their democratic powers through the formation of a government for the people. Contrary
to monarchy system of leadership that encouraged passing of leadership from father to son , the
democratic republic empowered Nepalese citizens to vote for their le aders. The constitutional
checks and balances were put in place to prevent abuse of p ower or office and the power to
remove elective leaders for non -performance. The EU’s contribution to the country’s
democratization process can be seen in the financial aid supplied, the open condemnation of the
government’s human rights violations and per secution of the innocent, and direct backing for the
country’s democratization measures. Indeed, the EU played a role in the country’s successful
second People’s Movement in 2006, which finally achieved the country’s goal of removing the
authoritarian regi me from power and ensuring that democracy is realized that will see all people
equally represented in the leadership of the country . Also, the role that EU played in Nepal’s
democratization attainment is evidenced through its direct collaboration with Nepa l through the
EU liaison office, whose mission was to assist Nepalese citizens in building robust institutes of
authority , including the endorsement of a new and inclusive constitution, to strengthen the
country’s democracy, which had been achieved through sweat and blood.
24 DEMOCRACY PROCESS IN NEPAL
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