Asiatica Association

“The end of isolation of Nepal, the construction of its political identity and its regional alliances”, by Enrica Garzilli 

3 feb 2009, archived in policy briefs

The end of isolation of Nepal, the construction of its political identity and its regional alliances” is a Policy Brief on Nepal by Enrica Garzilli, which has been published by the ISPI, the Institute of International Politics.

The ISPI was founded in 1934 and is among the oldest and most prestigious institutes in Italy specialized in international activities. It works under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As regards to the management, it is under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and the Court of Auditors.

After nearly 160 years of despoticism and political and logistic isolation, interspersed by brief periods of democracy, Nepal has entered the international political scene as a state of law.
From 2006 to 2008, after ten years of People's War, the movement of the Maoists managed to dethrone the king-dictator, to give voice and power to the ethnic groups, which has always been marginalized, to hold the first democratic elections for the Constituent Assembly, to become a majority party of government and to elect the Prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the former "comrade Prachanda", shaping a new role of Nepal in South Asia.

This policy brief on Nepal is published by the Project on South Asia. These are its most recent activities.

In the international scenario, South Asia holds a central position from the geostrategic and economic point of view: the demographic weight and the strong economic rise of India make it a pivotal element in the regional grand chessboard and a privileged partner of the United States.
At the same time, the Afghan crisis and the presence of Islamist forces on Pakistani territory, make Islamabad an indispensable partner in combating terrorism. Vulnerability distinguishes the region: South Asia is a territory with the presence of many nuclear weapons, at the same time it is criss-crossed by religious, ethnic and political tensions, and by territorial disputes. The region is also characterized by strong elements of competitiveness at the international, economic and energy level.

These tensions and disputes have been exploited skillfully and unscrupulously by Iran to avoid further international isolation. Although Iran has increased its regional power after the war in Iraq and the Taliban defeat in Afghanistan, Tehran fears the expansion of U.S. military presence near its eastern and western borders and the increasing U.S. ties with the Karzai government and with India.

The Project analyzes some political and economic issues (Islamic terrorism, democratization), highlighting the changes taking place in the region, and evaluating the relations between the main powers of South Asia and the other international actors, such as Iran, China, Central Asia, Saudi Arabia and the United State.