Federalism and Research Methodology
3-12 February 2012
With an objective of upgrading social scientists, the Nepal Centre for Contemporary Studies (NCCS) has been providing training to young scholars through residential workshops. The NCCS have already organized nine residential workshops as listed below on different themes and time:
1. Electoral System and Research Methodology (December 2000)
2. Political Parties and Parliament in Nepal and Research Methodology
3. Participatory Democracy in Nepal and Research Methodology (January 2004)
4. Democracy and Minority Rights and Research Methodology (January 2005).
5. Restructuring the Nepali State and Research Methodology (February 2006)
6. Constitution Making, Restructuring the Nepali State and Research
Methodology (January 2007)
7. Constituent Assembly and Constitution Making: People-Party Partnership
8. State Building and Constitution Making in Nepal (January-February 2010)
9. Constitution Making in Nepal: Political System and Electoral Designing (January-February 2011)
The Centre has been receiving continuous support from the Ford Foundation to carrying out its activities for manpower development and research in social science areas.
For this year, the Centre is organizing a ten-day residential workshop on Federalism and Research Methodology from 3 February to 12 February 2012. This is a part of the Ford Foundation funded project on Support for Enhancing Citizen’s Voice in Constitution Making and Democratic Process in Nepal. The purpose of workshop is to enhance the capacity of fresh social scientists by having interactions with scholars, party leaders and leading activists from Nepal and other South Asian countries. Such interactions would help the participants of the workshop to understand the subject of federalism from theoretical, regional and national perspectives.
The Interim Constitution, through its first amendment in April 2007, provided that Nepal would adopt a federal structure. All political parties in the Constituent Assembly (CA), except one – Rastriya Janamorcha (a small leftist party which gained 1.5 % popular vote and four seats in the CA election) – are in favour of replacing the long standing unitary nature of Nepali state by a federal form of government. There is, therefore, a broad political consensus among the political parties for introducing a federal structure. Taking identity and capability as criteria for constituting federal units, the State Restructuring Committee of the CA proposed 14 provinces. But consensus is yet to forge on number of contentious issues i.e. name of provinces (based on ethnic identity or non-ethnic identity), demarcation of provincial boundary, division of power between Centre and Province (in line with centralized or decentralized federalism), placement of rights (individual rights of citizens or collective rights of community or harmonization of both rights), implications of federalism for social harmony, economic development, political stability and national integration.
Altogether fifteen young scholars with different disciplinary backgrounds of social sciences are participating as trainees in this workshop. They are Master degree holders and under 40 years of age. Trainees, including female, have been selected on merit basis from across the country and from among various professions. The Centre has given preference to female and university teachers of political science.
Around 40 experts from university, political party and civil society, including four from other South Asian countries (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), are contributing to the workshop as resource persons. Their expertise and experiences on the subject matter – Federalism – are major considerations for selection of resource persons. The main reason behind the inclusion of South Asian scholars as resource persons is to provide some knowledge and experience of each country of this region to the trainees. The Centre has requested the resource persons to contribute papers on subject of their respective lecture, which would be published in our journal, Nepali Journal of Contemporary Studies, or in NCCS' Occasional Paper.
The NCCS would introduce orientation course on theory, experiences of South Asian countries and Nepal on Federalism as subject matter in addition to orientation of research methodology and fieldwork. The project includes field survey in order to meet its two objectives: in-depth study of Federalism and application of research methodology orientation. A studypack is provided to the participants some days before the date of the workshop. In addition to inaugural and closing sessions, the workshop will be conducted in 14 sessions as given below:
- Principles and practices of federalism in the world
- Discourses on federalism in South Asia
- Constituting federal units: challenges and consequences
- Division of power: principles and practices
- Autonomy, rights to self-determination and preferential rights
- Autonomous areas: A case study of Bangladesh, India and Nepal
- Federalism, national unity and security
- Federalism and development
- Inter-provincial relations
- Transitional arrangement
- Constitution making in Nepal: consensus building on federal design
- Social science research in Nepal and study of federalism
- Quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis
Sampling and Survey