Civil-military Relations in the Changed Political Setting of Nepal

  • Ranjit Thapa Military Secretary Branch, Army Headquarter, Kathmandu, Nepal
Keywords: Civil-military relations, professionalism, apolitical nature, civilian control, military subordination


Theories that guide the conduct of successful civil-military relations have focused on civilian control as an effective form of civil-military relations, which are achievable mostly in a stable and a mature democracy. In the context of Nepal, civil-military relations mostly remained out of the purview of civilian sphere because the military was functionally isolated from the society and was held mostly responsible for the security of the régime. During the political transition, the interaction between the civilian and military leaders is likely to increase significantly. It warrants that an appropriate framework be developed to maintain an enduring civil-military relation. At present, the first constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic is yet to be conceived; National Security Strategy is yet to be formulated; and the military’s role is yet to be clearly defined. In this context, a pragmatic approach that addresses our domestic socio-political realities and the concrete circumstances of time and place will be appropriate in defining civil-military relations.

While briefly highlighting on the theoretical dimension of professionalism and civil-military relations, this paper seeks to elaborate the dynamics of civil-military relations after the political change and concludes by presenting a viable and appropriate framework of civil-military relations. Moreover, in the changed political setting, it is pertinent to have a closer look at the civilian control mechanism that ensures a greater degree of interaction among the civilian-decision makers, the citizenry, military leaders, and other stakeholders, as well as develops a reliable relationship and shared responsibility between the civilian and military leaders.

How to Cite
Thapa, R. (2012). Civil-military Relations in the Changed Political Setting of Nepal. The Journal of University Grants Commission, 1(1), 200-215. Retrieved from