Social Inquiry: Journal of Social Science Research <p>Official journal of the Sustainable Development and Empowerment Forum. <em>Social Inquiry </em>provides a unique forum for discussing contemporary social issues through the promotion of cross-cutting research. It is an interdisciplinary journal in social sciences and humanities publishing theoretical and empirical work that uses a variety of methodological approaches to study the different aspects of the lifeworld of individuals, social groups and institutions.</p> en-US (Rebat Kumar Dhakal) (Sioux Cumming) Mon, 30 Nov 2020 10:49:06 +0000 OJS 60 Charting a New Foreign Policy Direction: Will It Deliver Better? <p>Not available.</p> Rebat Kumar Dhakal Copyright (c) 2020 Rebat Kumar Dhakal Tue, 24 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Quest for Identity: Re-Examining the Process of Federal Restructuring of the Nepali State <p>The agenda of restructuring the state has been the most deliberated issue for all intellectuals, political leaders and civil society activists in Nepal. The restructuring of Nepali state became a central component of the 2006 peace deal.&nbsp; Federalism was, however, included in the interim constitution as a binding principle for the Constituent Assembly on the verge of violent protests in the Tarai in 2007.&nbsp; The fundamental question during the Maoist insurgency remained whether federalism based on ethnic affiliation will be materialized. But after the Madhesh mutiny, the question that dominated the public discourse was whether “ethnic federalism” can be materialized as a mean to achieve more inclusive, institutionalized and sustainable democratic polity in Nepal. This article re-examines the process of federal restructuring of Nepali State on the backdrop of contemporary politics of identity.</p> Asis Mistry Copyright (c) 2020 Asis Mistry Tue, 24 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Gender Assessment of Teacher Education Curricula: A Case Study of Kathmandu University, School of Education <p>Gender issues are prevalent in every field, and its intersection in the teacher education programme is equally important. To explore gender inclusion in teacher education, this paper analyses the curriculum and teaching/learning materials of two master’s courses, namely Sustainable Development and Mathematics Education, taught at Kathmandu University, School of Education, Nepal. The course syllabus and lecture presentations were analysed using Barbara Hey’s (2010) framework to explore the status of gender inclusion. Tutors’ interviews are also added to cross-check the content analysis of the courses. The study found out that the gender mainstreaming in the curriculum design and implementing them in the classroom from the gender-balanced teachers remained a major drawback. The university has provided training to the teachers and revised its programmes timely, but the sampled courses had less gender integration. So, realizing the teacher may treat the subject from his/her gendered position, the delivery of the content is also equally important. There are no sexist languages and images used. However, some illustrations indicated towards reinforcing gender bias. The gender assessment has been taken from a holistic perspective, so the content delivery is equally emphasised. A gender-sensitive teacher is the utmost necessary to be responsible for avoiding sexist languages, valuing the students of all gender, and bringing gender discourses wherever is relevant and possible in the subject even if it is not in the course units exclusively. Trainings are instrumental in changing teachers' gender-biased mindset, and gender-friendly provisions can be crucial to achieving gender-related outcomes through gender-inclusive educational programmes.</p> Lina Gurung, Roshani Rajbanshi Copyright (c) 2020 Lina Gurung, Roshani Rajbanshi Tue, 24 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Community Bonding for Developing Life-Affirming Skills of Children: A Qualitative Case Study of Tole Reading Group in Kaski, Nepal <p class="AbstractText" style="text-align: justify;"><span lang="EN-GB">Based on a qualitative case study of a community reading group in a village of Kaski district, this paper explores how community bonding facilitates children's life-affirming skills. It argues that the networks based on communal values of reciprocal benefits are assets that promote sensitisation among themselves and the children’s learning. A local teacher and a School Management Committee member from the community facilitate as mediators for bridging school and the community meaningfully. It highlights that community members' informal and autonomous engagement in the collective reading and learning of children is more sustainable than the rigid, structured, and controlled mechanisms. Further, the paper claims that the school as an isolated institution with imported global values may not fit in a particular community. Thus, it is essential to respect and value the community bonding with contextual values to bridge the school and community and enhance meaningful reading and learning activities and quality education.</span></p> Indra Mani Rai, Ram Gaire Copyright (c) 2020 Indra Mani Rai, Ram Gaire Tue, 24 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0000 India-Israel Relations: Opportunities and Complexities <p>India and Israel share a rich civilizational history that began with the coming of Jews to India in 562 BCE and an identical colonial past being colonized by the British Empire. Together, they share a special association marked by several commonalities like both were born out of the bitter partition, practicing democratic ideals, subject to hostile neighbours, and rising cross-border terrorism. While India recognized Israel in 1950, it took four long decades for both to formally began their diplomatic ties. The post-Cold War world order, the rise of coalition politics in India, and the successful de-hyphenation of Indo-Israel ties from Indo-Palestine ties have further contributed to the increasing importance of the relationship. Today, the relationship, which was once founded on the bedrock of defense cooperation and arms trade, has become multifaceted. Both countries have converged across fields that include space, science, and technology, real estate, textile, cybersecurity, pharmaceuticals, agricultural innovations, water management, energy, etc. Along with convergences, there are also geopolitical divergences on the question of Palestine, Israel’s critical view of India-Iran relations, India’s sensitivities to Israel-China relations, etc. that have contributed to shaping the relationship. However, trust and pragmatism have never let the divergences overpower convergences in the relationship. A growing Indo-Israel tie is also seen as a boost to heightened Indo-US ties. This increased reconciliation between Israel and India is also expected to have wider implications for regional geopolitics and further shaping the strategic discourse of the region.</p> Alik Naha Copyright (c) 2020 Alik Naha Wed, 25 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Ethical Threats and Existential Safety <p>Amidst the development of various manifestations of modern electronic culture, security, communication, and ethics issues are acquiring new features and actualization. An objective of the research is a theoretical analysis of the issues of information ethics in the information and communication environment and threats to existential security. The features of the development of information ethics in electronic culture, associated with a high level of liberalism, utilitarianism, as well as antinomy in solving the problem of freedom and security in the digital environment are revealed. Some ethical issues of virtual communication in the “human-human” and “human-AI” systems are disclosed, the main risks in this area are systematized.</p> Baeva Liudmila Copyright (c) 2020 Baeva Liudmila Wed, 25 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0000 India and Russia: An Investigation of Relational Equations (1991-2020) <p>India’s relations with Russia has marked by ambiguity and uncertainty in the post-Cold War period. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was an uncertainty in India’s foreign policy about the direction of its Russia policy. The nature of global politics and power equation structure had posed a serious challenge to the nation-states whether they would be closer to the leader of the unipolar world or not. India was not an exception. India had face a lot of problems and challenges in the early 1990s regarding searching for alternative ways in reviving its fall-downed economy and acceptance of globalization. Bilateral trade is relatively low, but Russia is India’s largest supplier of weapons. Both countries have strong strategic relations and military engagement. Moreover, Russia plays an important role in India’s civilian nuclear program.&nbsp; India-Russia relations are multi-dimensional and on some issues it is complicated. This paper intends to investigate the relational equations between New Delhi and Moscow critically.</p> Debasish Nandy Copyright (c) 2020 Debasish Nandy Wed, 25 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0000 My Unending Journey of Migration: An Autobiographical Inquiry <p>In the journey of my life, I am moving hither and thither, which helped me to devise and construct the life stories of migration. I have echoed my real-life experience of migration, which I have attained from my childhood to till date. Academically, there is a dearth of migration research that is carried out using the autobiographical inquiry. The purpose of writing this article is to craft my stories, which I have experienced in the journey of migration. For this, I have instilled autobiographical inquiry to knit the stories, as the field of autobiographical inquiry is to imply ‘self-study’. Using an avenue of non-positivistic paradigm, I have interacted with the contexts to draw the stories of migration. Pertinently, the stories of migration are a revelation of my subjective feelings. To interpret my personal stories, I used the structuration theory from which I have explored the dialectical relationship between the system (policies, rules, and norms) and agency, that is me. Genuinely, the government and social systems, and personal decision of migration induced me to shape the stories of migration. At this age of my life, I have visited short to long distances internally and externally and lived there for a few days to some years. On other days, I do not know, where I will go and settle, it may not be in my control because I will be dependent on children and their decisions. For me, migration is an unending journey.</p> Lal Bahadur Pun Copyright (c) 2020 Lal Bahadur Pun Wed, 25 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Spatial Variation of Caste/Ethnic Poverty in Mountain Districts of Nepal: An Approximation through Small Area Estimation Technique <p>Nepal is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society where economic condition of various caste/ethnic groups substantially varies. However, adequate attention has not been paid to estimate the level of monetary poverty of various caste/ethnicities and assess how people of the same caste/ethnicity living in different locations (districts) vary in terms of monetary poverty. Focusing only on mountain belt, which is one of the economically poorest areas of the country, this study aims to estimate incidence of monetary poverty for major caste/ethnicities living in the mountain districts with the help of small area estimation (SAE) technique and assess spatial variation in the incidence of monetary poverty of the same caste/ethnic group living along the east-west continuum of the mountain districts. Required data for SAE is derived from Nepal Living Standard Survey (2010/11) and 2011 population census of Nepal. The study shows that, compared to other districts, three eastern mountain districts (Province 1) (Taplejung, Sankhuwasabha, and Solukhumbu) have lowest incidence of poverty for all the caste/ethnicities with much lower incidence in three socioeconomically advanced hill caste groups. Incidence of poverty tends to increase sharply along the east to west continuum of mountain districts with exceptionally high poverty rates for Dalits in the far western mountain districts (Province 7). Some culturally similar caste/ethnic groups follow almost similar pattern of increase in the incidence of poverty along the east-west continuum of the mountain districts and form districts of clusters in each region with similar level of poverty.</p> Bhim Raj Suwal Copyright (c) 2020 Bhim Raj Suwal Wed, 25 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Decentralization of Education in Nepal: A Rein in a Horse Nose <p>The main argument of this article is to shed light on the dubious nature of the decentralization policy of education and the 'intention' of the state to recentralize it, in one way or other, despite the widespread clatter of decentralization. By taking policy documents into account, I intend to justify my claim that what the Nepal government calls it, an educational decentralization, is nothing but policy rhetoric and a reign hold tactically at the centre. I claim what the state calls it as an autonomous power of ground-level functionaries to exercise their discretionary in decentralized education system instead is, 'a rein in a horse nose', where jockey (the centre) is 'always' in a commanding position. To expatiate educational decentralization, I employ Weiler's (1990) standpoint and juxtapose his arguments: redistributing power, enhancing efficiency, and improving learning to show that though these arguments are put in favour of decentralization, the same arguments are shown to conflict with powerful forces favouring centralization. I also focus on the context and motivation in which the educational decentralization was carried out to understand the egression of decentralization in education in Nepal. In the final section, I try to analyse the dubious tendency of the state and try to explore, 'why despite prioritizing decentralization in policies, there is a periodicity of higher bodies in the education system'.</p> Sanjay Hamal Copyright (c) 2020 Sanjay Hamal Wed, 25 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Understanding Structural Determinants of HIV Testing in a Resource-Limited Setting: The Case of Ethiopian Women <p>Knowing HIV serostatus is a vital component of HIV prevention. Although significant progress is being made in controlling HIV infection, the uptake of HIV Testing and Counselling (HTC) remains low. Previous studies have mainly focused on individual level risk factors; however, structural determinants relevant to HIV prevention including HIV testing are largely unknown.&nbsp; The study objective was to identify key structural factors associated with HIV screening among women living in resource-poor countries like Ethiopia. Using Ethiopia’s Demographic and Health Survey (sample = 8382), we examined structural determinants of HIV testing. The study revealed that four-in-ten women were ever tested for HIV.&nbsp; Both HIV testing enabling and inhibiting (barrier) environments significantly associated with HIV testing status. Exposure to mass media significantly improved HIV testing. Women who visited a health facility in the last 12 months were 94% more likely to be tested for HIV than women who did not. Among women who said physical structure related factors were a big problem, 32% were less likely to be tested than women who did not think these factors were a problem.&nbsp; Our findings suggest that structural interventions may improve the uptake of HIV testing among Ethiopian women.</p> Nasser B. Ebrahim, Madhu S. Atteraya Copyright (c) 2020 Nasser B. Ebrahim, Madhu S. Atteraya Wed, 25 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Ecological Awareness: Matrimony of Agriculture and Art <p>This article examines how Mithila folk painting reflects ecological consciousness of the society and the intertwined Maithili life with local flora and fauna that consequently maintains natural environment intact in the region. At the onset of climate issue worldwide, folk painting of Mithila communicates its local as well as international spectators about the preservation of surrounding nature blending it with ritual phenomena, agrarian lifestyle and inculcating geographical values to the new generation through the visual depiction. Once the indigenous art, transformed into leading folk painting, due to commercialization has lifted its spiritual veil to worldly affairs. In this course of shift, ecology based painting proves to be a boon for the art lovers and buyers as it attempts to balance the degrading nature with its preservation technique appropriate to its own native land. A pivotal visualization of the merriment of lifespan and landscape amidst spirituality and perpetuity remains the characteristic feature of this indigenous art work.</p> Santosh Kumar Singh Copyright (c) 2020 Santosh Kumar Singh Wed, 25 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Human Security-Informed Policing in Nepal: An Impetus to Building Sense of Security in the Community <p>Nepal police, being a primary security agency in protecting the safety and security of the people, has dabbled with different approaches to policing butte law and order model has been dominant. But it is equally important to have an evidence base for how policing should be in line with the requirements of the citizens, as supported by overall national development goals. Research findings show that the sense of security is sponge-like: an integrated phenomenon where crime as well as contrasting security behaviour like the sense of alienation, discrimination, low trust and confidence, and non-cooperative attitude, all absorb and influence how levels of the sense of security are constructed. The research highlighted the five basic security pillars, namely: level of income, level of understanding, conditions to daily life, police performance, and the partnership of security practice. The human security aspects directly related to security were identified as employment as it relates to the level of income; an education which relates to the level of understanding, and the condition of daily life as it relates to the availability of essential goods and access to basic services. Each condition differently has effects in contributing to how security is felt and experienced. Here, human security is explored both conceptually and in practical terms to enhance security from a policing perspective and Human Security informed Policing model offer recommendations to build a sense of security in the community.</p> Manoj Kumar KC Copyright (c) 2020 Manoj Kumar KC Wed, 25 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Mediation Practices in Post-Conflict Situation in Nepal: The Way Forward <p>This paper aims to critically examine the increasing role of community mediation in the post-conflict situation in Nepal. The practice of community mediation at the professional level is in a preliminary stage in Nepal. Regardingthe peace settlement process and the state of community mediation in different countries, various efforts have been made in Nepal regarding community mediation. The country is gradually advancing towards community mediation practices in ensuring access to justice. Community mediation has been practiced for resolving disputes or conflict through the judicial committees (JCs) formed under the local government. The practices of conflicts or disputes resolution through community mediation have begun in Nepal at the individual or family level, school or community level, or at workplace. It is, therefore, vital to prevent the recurrence of conflicts or disputes through community mediation to ensure sustainable peace. Various efforts have been made to build the capacity of individuals and agencies to settle disputes and to ensure mutual trust and cooperation in Nepal. In the changing context, confronting COVID 19, building awareness, providing education and training to the mediators for community mediation is vital to execute JC practice in Nepal. Community mediation as an important aspect in ensuring sustainable peace in the spirit of the local government act is, therefore, very essential in Nepal.</p> Sambid Bilas Pant Copyright (c) 2020 Sambid Bilas Pant Thu, 26 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Foreign Direct Investment in Nepal <p>This article is about the relationship between Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It explores the FDI’s linkage with the national income. The data for the study comprised different factors that have a direct linkage with the national economy and its impact. This article is based on the FDI in various sectors in terms of the number of projects, employment created, and the amount invested. It is based on secondary data. The study revealed that FDI sometimes has an independent influence on the economy of the country. A fresh finding of this article is that the contribution of FDI in capital formation and employment is not significant in the Nepalese economy, eventually making less contribution to the GDP of the Nepalese economy. It also revealed that FDI comprises new technologies, management techniques, finance and market access for the production and movement of goods and services. So, Nepal should adopt policies to attract more FDI and implement accordingly.</p> Maheshwor Neupane Copyright (c) 2020 Maheshwor Neupane Thu, 26 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0000