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Rectifying the anti-politics of citizen participation: Insights from the internal politics of a subaltern community in Nepal

'The Government of Chronic Poverty: from the politics of exclusion to the politics of citizenship' Working paper series

Katsuhiko Masaki


Can ‘participatory’ approaches to development constitute a viable strategy for promoting citizenship? This paper addresses this question by scrutinising the equivocal reaction of a peasant community in Nepal to the unfolding of one such project, which supposedly reflected their empowerment as equal citizens. Drawing on the notion of ‘symbolic citizenship’ that values people’s ‘right to narrate’ viewpoints that occur to them naturally, this study proposes a more promising approach that allows people to divulge dilemmas arising from real-world complexities, and then determine the terms of their empowerment, in defiance of the prevailing liberal democratic framework.

Publication Type(s)

CPRC Working Paper


empowerment Nepal citizenship Government of chronic poverty series

ISBN: 978-1-906433-49-9


1 Rectifying the anti-politics of citizen participation PDF 575.4 KB

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