This article examines the complex relationships between marginalized communities, the state, and nonstate actors such as development agencies and social scientists in crafting the classificatory regimes that undergird affirmative action policies. Focusing on the current dynamics of “ethnic restructuring“ amid the broader political process of postconflict “state restructuring“ in Nepal, I suggest that international actors often unwittingly encourage the hardening of ethnic boundaries through development projects that target “marginalized“ populations defined in cultural terms. However, such interventions can also yield unexpected transformations in agentive ethnic consciousness. This ethnographic exploration of current classificatory processes in non-postcolonial Nepal provides an important counterpoint to material from the Indian context, where histories of colonial classification have debatably influenced contemporary categories-and their critique-to a significant extent.
Nepal's current classificatory moment
The Edible Ballot Society and the Performance of Citizenship
Performance . Cambridge : Cambridge University Press . 10.1017/CBO9780511675973 McKeen , Wendy , and Ann Porter 2003 . “ Politics and Transformation: Welfare State Restructuring in Canada .” In Changing Canada: Political Economy as Transformation , ed