• Martin Churavy
4. semester, Udvikling og Internationale Relationer, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
Complex phenomenon of social movements operating under various labels on the razor’s edge between underground anti-system groups and established political organizations within genuinely democratic as well as within authoritarian political regimes all over the globe presents important and highly actual theme for research. The so-called Arab Spring, which we have been witnessing from December 2010, is, after all, nothing but one concrete manifestation of that phenomenon.
The main purpose of this thesis is to enrich the existing amount of information in regards to social movements in general by presenting a comparative analysis of two particular cases from the vibrant region of modern-day South Asia. Taken together, they can offer an interesting view of two remarkably similar social movements subscribing themselves to the Maoist legacy and initially evolving along almost analogical trajectories: from formally recognized political actors to underground guerrilla movements opposing the central government via instruments of violent resistance. In the case of Nepal, the rebels eventually managed to undertake a full-circle journey and were included within the mainstream political arena again. Indian insurgents, on the other hand, never really left the underground positions. Instead, they keep on waging the armed struggle against dominant socio-politico-economic order in their country.
In order to identify possible factors responsible for such difference, a brief historical context of both cases in hand is firstly outlined. Subsequently, comparative analysis applying the theoretical framework of contentious politics designed by Charles Tilly as well as related insights of Weinberg and Pedahzur is unfolded. Although both approaches can be subsumed under the broad umbrella of social movement theory, the former provides us with detailed explanation of evolution and ramification of each movement’s respective performance with respect to usage of violent techniques of conveying their demands. The latter is more concerned with optimal conditions for transformation of political parties into terrorist groups and vice versa.
Significantly differing general perception of the notion of legitimacy vs. illegitimacy (or legality vs. illegality) shaped by slightly discrepant historical experiences with interactions between government and anti-systemic forces in both inquired cases is positively identified as the searched independent variable within their otherwise comparable political cultures.
SprogEngelsk
Udgivelsesdato29 jun. 2011
Antal sider77
ID: 53236182