Fathali on Psychology of Dictatorship & Democracy


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Since 1950s, Nepal have gone through various revolutions and political changes at different points of time that had looked very promising, people hoped for positive changes in everyday lives of Nepali and betterment at all levels. Most recently, Nepal promulgated the new constitution after abolishing the monarchy over 8 years ago. It was welcomed as a historical milestone, the country moved from the political deadlock among monarchy, political parties and Maoists but wait, after all these years, what has happened to the lives of general Nepali who belong to middle-class and lower middle-class so far, the situation is getting tougher. The youth of Nepal is forced to migrate to gulf and other risk-prone countries for survival and to take care of their families. According to ILO, in fiscal year 2014, over  520,000 labour permits were issued to Nepalis for work abroad. High class people continue to hold back the power and dominate the politics. The country suffered devastating earthquakes last year, much of the rebuilding is yet to be started. There is a dissatisfaction among people over new constitution and the lack of right of women to pass on the citizenship to their children among many other issues. On June 14, the government issued online media directives which gives the power to government to crack down over dissenting voices. In democracy, voice is the most crucial aspect of political practice and public lives. Do we feel safe enough to go out and express ourselves at Basantapur Square without fear of police nearby located at Hanumandhoka? What if it reinforces fear to speak up? So, this brings up an important question: have we regressed back and moved even backwards than before? Are we once again heading back to times of dictatorship that our forefathers lived under??

I have found Iranian psychologist Fathali Moghaddam‘s theoretical concepts  useful to understand our political situation from psychological perspective. He has tried to explain the rise and fall of dictatorships through his springboard model in which he says that the context that lead to the rise of the dictator is more important the personality of the leader. In traditional psychology, the personality of the dictating leader is studied to understand the dictatorship but he prioritizes context and collective over individual processes to understand dictatorship and democracy.

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Where does Nepal lie on this continuum between dictatorship and democracy???

Fathali also writes about the development of psychology in third-world countries like Nepal. His publications can be read here: http://fathalimoghaddam.com/?page_id=18

From Public Lecture about the book: http://www.iop.or.jp/Documents/1626/%5B125-138%5DJournal26_Moghaddam.pdf [125-138]Journal26_Moghaddam

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