Neotraditionalism and Indigenous Governance: Balancing Traditions with Emerging Challenges

Published date01 March 2022
DOI10.1177/00195561211058771
Date01 March 2022
Subject MatterArticles
Neotraditionalism and
Indigenous Governance:
Balancing Traditions
with Emerging
Challenges
Durga Prasad Chhetri1
Abstract
The traditional institutions in many parts of the world have managed to respond
to various external political change and pressures and maintained their position
within society. What is more important is that traditional institutions have been
constantly adapted to accommodate new circumstances, as the social and eco-
nomic organisation of societies has changed particularly over the last century due
to rapid urbanisation and globalisation, as well as the standardisation of liberal
politics. Against this backdrop, this article examines the existence and survival of
traditional institutions in the hill state of Sikkim, India, through the prism of neotra-
ditionalism. In other words, this article seeks to address the question that how
traditional institutions, which are embedded in neotraditional structures, have sur-
vived and repositioned in the new democratic system. Besides, the author attempts
to show how neotraditional actors like Pipon and village elders are involved in the
development arena and managed to attain a semblance of balance between tradi-
tion and modernity without destroying the foundation of tribal society and culture.
Keywords
Traditional institutions, neotraditionalism, governance, democracy, Sikkim
Introduction
More than sixty-one countries1 across the globe have recognised the existence
of different forms of traditional governance despite the adoption of democratic
Article
Indian Journal of Public
Administration
68(1) 8–20, 2022
© 2022 IIPA
Reprints and permissions:
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DOI: 10.1177/00195561211058771
journals.sagepub.com/home/ipa
1 Department of Political Science, School of Social Sciences, Sikkim Central University, Gangtok,
Sikkim, India.
Corresponding author:
Durga Prasad Chhetri, Chairperson, Department of Political Science, School of Social Sciences,
Sikkim Central University, Gangtok, Sikkim 737102, India.
E-mail: chhetri.durga@gmail.com

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