Liberal Peace In Question

Liberal Peace In Question

Politics of State and Market Reform in Sri Lanka

Edited by Kristian Stokke & Jayadeva Uyangoda

Anthem South Asian Studies

Anthem Studies in Peace, Conflict and Development

This book examines the politics of crafting liberal peace in contemporary intrastate conflicts using Sri Lanka’s failed attempt to negotiate peace with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Hardback, 216 Pages


January 2011

£70.00, $115.00

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About This Book

The present book examines the internationally facilitated peace process between the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in order to provide critical insights on contemporary attempts at crafting liberal peace in intrastate conflicts. The general argument is for a broadened political perspective on conflict resolution, extending the focus from the narrow confines of formal peace negotiations and elitist crafting of liberal peace, to the contextual politics of state reforms for group rights and power-sharing and the associated politics of economic reforms for neoliberal development. In examining the contextual politics of state and market reforms in Sri Lanka, the book highlight the tensions between liberal peace and Sinhalese and Tamil nationalisms, demonstrated in the contestations over political exclusion vs. inclusion in peace negotiations, individual human rights vs. group rights, territorial power sharing vs. state sovereignty and neoliberal development vs. social welfare.


‘‘Liberal Peace in Question’ addresses critically, exhaustively, and in-depth [the] consequences and implications [of the liberal peace model in Sri Lanka], highlighting the importance of undertaking a critical evaluation of what went wrong in a process that raised such high expectations and ended in such a dramatic way. […] This book constitutes an important contribution to this much-needed debate.’ —María Villellas Ariño, Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre Book Review

'A valuable edited volume on a paradigm for peace making which will both inform and enrich academic and policy level debate on the subject, and the particular challenge Sri Lanka now faces of moving from a post-war to a post-conflict situation.' —Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Executive Director, Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Sri Lanka

'The essays in this book deserve a wide readership. Together they provide an illuminating examination of the failure of international attempts to craft a liberal peace in Sri Lanka, in the context of analyses of the impacts of neo-liberalism on Sri Lanka’s polity, economy and society. Their findings are certainly not happy ones, but they are of great importance for all those who are concerned with peace-building, both in general and in Sri Lanka in particular.' —John Harriss, Professor and Director, School for International Studies, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Author Information

Kristian Stokke is professor of human geography at the University of Oslo (Norway), specialising in movement politics, democratisation and conflict transformation.

Jayadeva Uyangoda is professor of political science at the University of Colombo (Sri Lanka) and an acknowledged authority on conflicts in Sri Lanka and South Asia.


Anthem South Asian Studies

Anthem Studies in Peace, Conflict and Development

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations; List of Contributors; 1. Liberal Peace in Question: The Sri Lankan Case - Kristian Stokke; 2. Travails of State Reform in the Context of Protracted Civil War in Sri Lanka - Jayadeva Uyangoda; 3. Fallacies of the Peace Ownership Approach: Exploring Norwegian Mediation in Sri Lanka - Kristine Höglund and Isak Svensson; 4. The Politics of Market Reform at a Time of Ethnic Conflict: Sri Lanka in the Jayewardene Years - Rajesh Venugopal; 5. From SIHRN to Post-War North and East: The Limits of the ‘Peace through Development’ Paradigm in Sri Lanka - Charan Rainford and Ambika Satkunanathan; 6. Buying Peace? Politics of Reconstruction and the Peace Dividend Argument - Camilla Orjuela; 7. Women’s Initiative in Building Peace: The Case of Northern Sri Lanka - Doreen Arulanantham Chawade; 8. Liberal Peace and Public Opinion - Pradeep Peiris and Kristian Stokke; Notes; References


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