Nations built on exclusion and assimilation, decades of civil war, widespread poverty, authoritarianism and the decline of democracy. Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka are travelling a road to federalism. Institutions and ethnic identity have interacted to privilege some and marginalise others. But when the right conditions prevail, political equality can be restored.
This book charts the origins and evolution of federalism and other approaches to the accommodation of minority ethnic groups in Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. It applies a historical institutionalism methodology to understand why federalism has been resisted, what causes it to be established and what design options are most likely to balance otherwise competing centripetal and centrifugal forces. Breen shows how Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka are finding a middle ground whereby deliberative and moderating institutions are combined with accommodating ones to support a political equality among groups and individuals.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
List of abbreviations and acronyms
2. Methodology and conceptual framework
3. Federalism, accommodation and Asia
4. State formation
5. The road to federalism
6. The constitutional settlement
7. Federal design issues – accommodation and moderation
Michael G. Breen completed his PhD at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and is currently a McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Melbourne. His background is as a policy advisor in Australia and Nepal, with expertise in federalism, the rights of indigenous peoples and political inclusion.