The papers in this collection were initially presented (with the exception of chapter 10) at a day-long panel during the Modern South Asian studies conference in Edinburgh in September 2000. Most of the papers have been revised since that presentation, some substantially so, but these revisions were mostly done in early 2001 and-with the exception of two short passages (pp. 128-30 and 332-4)-do not cover the period since the declaration of a State of Emergency in November 2001. No collection of this sort can hope to be wholly up to date. What we, the contributors to this volume, have aimed for is ethnographically informed and historically grounded analysis. We hope that it will stand the test of time; but whether it does or not, is for readers to judge. We do not, of course, imagine that this is any kind of last word on the subject: It is, we hope, a useful contribution to the understanding of state and society in Nepal in particular and to discussions of the state in South Asia in general.
I thank the European Bulletin of Himalayan Research for permission to reprint from issue 19 (autumn 2000) revised versions of the papers which appear here as chapters 7 and 10. Many thanks also to William Douglas for help with the map on p. 23.
As editor I have, among other things, tried to impose a compromise between English euphony and Nepali usage: 'Nepali' -both noun and adjective-refers either to people or to the language, whereas 'Nepalese' is used only as an adjective in other, more abstract contexts (such as the sub-title of this book).
Many dates are given, in the Nepalese style, in Vikram Samvat or era (VS), which began in 57 BCE. No glossary of Nepali words or expressions has been provided, but the index should direct the reader to the place( s) where specialized terms are defined and discussed.
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