Department or Program



This thesis explores the elements that account for why Nepal has failed to draft a new constitution since the end of the civil war in 2006. This study is grounded in two main areas of existing literature. The first is the political economy of collective decision making with a focus on the challenges faced by large groups, such as legislative bodies. The second area of literature focuses more specifically on particular challenges to constitution-drafting or constituent assemblies. Predictions from these literature sources are then applied to a newspaper analysis of eKantipur headline articles from November 2006 to January 2015 to analyze which factors are present as impediments to the constitution process in Nepal. Supplemental interviews from December 2014 are also used in order to highlight how newspaper depictions of the constitutional impasse match with the reality of the Constituent Assembly process. This study finds that while numerous political problems suggested by existing scholars appear to be present in newspaper data, the root of the problem is a lack of legitimacy grounded in the leaders of the four major political parties of Nepal. This study also uses the Nepal case to theory test Andrew Arato’s model of Post Sovereign Constitution Making. Overall, Nepal’s constitution writing failure, which is due to problems of legitimacy, supports the caveats of Arato’s theory.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Engel, Steven

Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2015

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Open Access

Available to all.