Brock University Child and Youth Studies Professor Tom O’Neill wrote a piece recently published in the Hamilton Spectator about youth political engagement in Nepal.
Most Canadians think about Nepal only when we hear of the deaths of mountaineers on Mount Everest, or about earthquakes, floods and other disasters that frequently plague its population.
But, having just led a two-year research project into youth political engagement in Nepal, it is clear there is much more going on in this Himalayan nation.
Despite the ancient temples that draw tourists and devotees, and despite a long history of warring cultures, palace intrigue and civil conflict, Nepal today is a young country.
After a 10-year civil war with Maoist insurgents, a popular democratic movement forced the last king from power in 2007 and Nepal was declared a republic. A new constitution in 2015 established new levels of local and provincial governance. Last year almost three quarters of eligible voters turned out for a national election that saw a majority Communist government come to power.
To a visitor’s eye, there are suggestions the economy is growing stronger. Construction in the cities is booming. New roads cut through the mountains connect previously isolated regions to the capital, and wireless technology exists throughout the country.
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