An Uneasy Hegemony: Politics of Statebuilding and Struggles for Justice in Sri Lanka

Research output: Book/Report/Inaugural speech/Farewell speechBookAcademic


Sri Lanka has been tegarded as a model democracy among former British colonies. It was lauded for its impressive achievement in terms of human development indicators. However, Sri Lanka's modern history can also be read as a tragic story of inter-ethnic inequalities and tensions, resulting in years of violent conflicts. Two long spells of anti-state youth uprisings were followed by nearly three decades of civil war, and most recently a renewed upsurge of events are examples of the on going uneasy project of Statebuilding. This book discusses that state building in Sri Lanka is centred on the struggle for hegemony amidst a kind of politics that rejects individual and group equality, opposes the social integration of marginalised groups and appeals to narrow, fearful and xenophobic tendencies among the majority population and minorities alike. It answers the pressing questiins of - How do the dynamics of intra- Sinhalese class relations and Sinhalese politics influence the trajectories of post-colonial state-building? What tensions emerge over time, between Sinhalese hegemony -building and wider state-building ? How do these tensions manifest in majority and minority relationships?
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages360
ISBN (Electronic)9781009199230
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2022

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