Economic issues in peace processes: socio-Economic inequalities and peace in Nepal


Nepal’s peace process has been accompanied by a puzzle: while socio-economic inequalities were a major catalyst for the outbreak of the civil war and a central agenda item for one of the belligerents, they hardly factored in as an issue in the peace process. Instead, the peace processes focused on political and military issues such as the abolition of the monarchy, the establishment of a constituent assembly, and the management of arms and armies. It was only after the 2008 election and the victory of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists (CPN-M), that economic issues have become the main issue in the peace process. The United Nations observed that “the election is only a milestone in the peace process (…). The real work of addressing the nation’s deeper socio-economic difficulties and drafting a constitution (…) only begins now” (UNSC, 2008b, p.15). Together with studies on Sudan (north-south) and Indonesia (Aceh), this case study is part of a larger project that attempts to establish an evidence base on the management of economic issues in peace processes. The project stresses the importance of conflict-induced economic transformations, as well as the economic agendas and conditions that shape the organization and dynamics of armed conflict. It connects the political economy of conflict with the study