Academic Profile

Amanda Snellinger researches mainstream politics, activism, protest movements, youth, and political and legal change in Nepal. She received her degree in anthropology from Cornell University. Before joining the School of Geography and the Environment in Oxford, she taught at Seattle University and was an affiliated scholar at the University of Washington. She currently maintains lecturer affiliation with the University of Washington's Jackson School of International Studies.

Amanda's research contributes to current debates on activism, youth politics, political socialization, and democratic theory. She is particularly interested in the interplay between local political culture and global democratic formations and the gap between political theory and practice. Since 2003 she has done qualitative, ethnographic fieldwork and archival research in Nepal and India, mainly in Nepali language. She has researched how young political actors discursively negotiate international and local political values within their everyday lives. Her dissertation fieldwork was a thirty-month ethnographic project that covered student activists' participation in the 2003-2008 political movements that deposed the Hindu monarchy and ushered in Nepal's multi-party democratic republic. This research examined student politics as the first learning place of political culture by examining how university students become involved in national life and shape politics by emphasizing emergent needs, while simultaneously becoming socialized into the politics that they are trying to change. Her more recent research has continued working with the same group of student activists, looking at their transition into national politics beyond organizing protest movements. She is currently drafting a book manuscript that combines this research, entitled Transfiguration of the Political: From Student Activists to Politicians in the Making of New Nepal. It analyzes the current activist generation's political coming of age as an experience of political participation that initially had revolutionary effect, but has required them to work within the political system in order to achieve the change they desire.

Current Research

Amanda joined the School of Geography and the Environment in Oxford in order to pursue collaborative research that looks at the politics of unemployed, educated youth in South Asia. This project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. She will be doing both qualitative and quantitative ethnographic fieldwork in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka with Craig Jeffrey, David Gellner, Jonathan Spencer, Jane Dyson, and Dhana Hughes.

Field Research Projects

  • 2013-2014 - Project Title: Alchemists of the Revolution?: The Politics of Educated Unemployed Youth. Comparative Ethnographic fieldwork in Nepal, India and Sri Lanka. Funded by: Economic and Social Research Council.
  • 6 - 9/2011 - Project Title: "Transfiguration of the Political: From Student Activist to Politician in the Making of 'New Nepal'."Socio-political anthropological fieldwork in Kathmandu, Nepal. Funded by: Association of Nepal and Himalayan Studies Senior Fellowship.
  • 9-11/2009 - Project Title: "Nepali Student Activism after the Political Movement: How Nepali Student Activists are Occupying themselves during time of political restructuring." Ethnographic follow-up research in Kathmandu, Nepal. Funded By: Society for Humanities, Cornell University.
  • 8/2007 - 5/2008 - Project Title: "The Role of Generational Change in Nepali Student Activism." Socio-political anthropological fieldwork and archival work in Kathmandu, Nepal, Delhi, India at the National Archives and Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Varanasi, India at Banaras Hindu University. Funded by: Wenner-Gren Dissertation Fieldwork Fellowship.
  • 8/2006 - 8/2007 - Project Title: "The Role of Generational Change in Nepali Student Activism." Socio-political anthropological fieldwork in Kathmandu, Birgunj, Bhiratnagar, Nepalgunj, and Chitwan, with field travel to eighteen rural districts. Funded by: Fulbright Hays Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.
  • 5/2005 - 8/2005 - Project Title: "Nepali student politics and their political movements in Kathmandu universities and Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi." Socio-political anthropological fieldwork in Kathmandu, Nepal and Delhi, India. Funded by: Einaudi Research Grant, Cornell University.
  • 8/2003 - 7/2004 - Project Title: "The Education Environment's Impact on Nepali Citizens' Political Consciousness." Socio-political anthropological fieldwork in Kathmandu, Nepal. Funded by: USEF-Nepal Fulbright Research Fellowship.


  • GEOG 343 /JSIS B 347 "Comparative Geographies of Youth," University of Washington, Winter 2013
  • ANTH 120 "Anthropological Perspectives," Seattle University, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012
  • ANTH 334 "Anthropology and Human Rights" Seattle University, Winter 2012
  • ANTH 402 "History of Anthropological Thought: Anthropology Through Our Debates," Seattle University, Spring 2012

Selected Publications

Publications are those that were listed on the old website. Publications database integration forthcoming.
  • Snellinger, A. (2012) The young political generation today, five years later. Himalaya, 31(1-2).
  • Snellinger, A. (2009) "Yuba, Hamro Pusta" ("Youth, Our Generation"): Youth and generational politics in Nepali political culture. Studies in Nepali History and Society, 14(1): 39-66.
  • Snellinger, A. (2009) Democratic form: conceptions and practices in the making of "New Nepal." Sociological Bulletin (Journal of Indian Sociological Society), 58(1): 43-70.
  • Snellinger, A. (2006) Commitment as an analytic: reflections on Nepali student activists' protracted struggle. Political and Legal Anthropology Review (PoLAR), 29(2): 351-364.
  • Snellinger, A. (2005) A crisis in Nepali student politics?: Analyzing the gap between politically active and non-active students. Peace and Democracy in South Asia Journal, 1(2): 18-43.
Selected Book Chapters
  • Snellinger, A. (2010) The repertoire of scientific organization: ideology, identity and the Maoist student union. In, Lawoti, M. and A. Mahara (eds.) Maoist Insurgency in Nepal: Revolution in the Twenty-first Century. London and New York: Routledge, South Asia Series. pp. 73-91.
  • Snellinger, A. (2007) Student movements in Nepal: their parameters and their idealized forms. In, Lawoti, M. (ed.) Contentious Politics and Democratization in Nepal. Delhi: Sage Publications. pp. 273-298.
Selected Presentations:
  • 2012 - Colloquium Speaker, South Asian Studies Department, Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington. Talk Title: "Judicious Opportunism in Nepali Activism." April 19, 2012.
  • 2012 - Radical Democracy Workshop, Columbia University and The New School of Social Research. Paper Title: "Consensus in Deliberative Form on Nepal's Constituent Assembly." April 8, 2012.
  • 2011 - Invited Lecturer, Nepal Study Group, Anthropology Department, University of Oxford. Talk title: "Consensus and Deliberation in Local Form: Understanding Traditional Political Process in Nepal." November 24, 2011.
  • 2011 - Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies, Social Science Baha and Alliance for Social Dialogue, International conference entitled: "Changing Dynamics in Nepali Society and Politics." Paper Title: "Democratic Process on the Constituent Assembly." August 18, 2011.
  • 2011 - Invited Lecturer, Anthropology and Sociology Department, George Mason University. Talk title: "Space within Limits: How Nepali Student Activists position themselves in the political landscape." April 21, 2011.
  • 2011 - Invited Lecturer, Legal Studies Program, University of Massachusetts. Talk title: "Space within Limits: How Nepali Student Activists position themselves in the political landscape." February 15, 2011.
  • 2010 - Invited Speaker, The Levin Institute, conference entitled: "Hope in the Law and the Economy." Talk title: "Complete Abeyance: Hope, Endpoints, and Nepali Youth Politics." March 25 and 26, 2009.
Media Publications
  • Snellinger, A. (2011) Op-Ed, Between Idealism And Political Savvy." Kathmandu Post, November 9, 2011.
  • Snellinger, A. (2004) Op-Ed, "Rebels with a Cause." The Nation, Nepal, #1, May 7, 2004.
  • Snellinger, A. (2004) Op-Ed, "Student Elections Outcome". The Nation, Nepal, #3, May 21, 2004.