Lost in transition: linking war, war economy and post-war crime in Sri Lanka

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Scholars continue to draw attention to the link between the war economy and post-war crime. The majority of these studies are about cases of civil war that ended with peace agreements. Sri Lanka’s civil war ended with a military victory for the state armed forces; thus, it can help shed new light on the above link. Situated in the war economy perspective, this article investigates the dominant types of crimes reported from post-war Sri Lanka and the mechanisms linking them with the war economy. The culture of impunity, continued militarisation and enduring corruption are identified as key mechanisms through which the war economy and post-war bodily and material crime are linked. It suggests, although the ‘victors’ peace’ achieved by state armed forces was able to successfully dismantle the extra-legal war economy run by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, it was responsible for promoting criminality in the post-war period. Overall, this points to the urgency of breaking away from legacies of the state war economy in the post-war period, before introducing programs of longer term political and economic reform.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-79
Number of pages17
JournalThird World Thematics: a TWQ journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2018


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