Launching a Publication on ‘Democracy and Democratisation in Sri Lanka: Paths, Trends and Imaginations’

A two-volume publication, Democracy and Democratisation in Sri Lanka: Paths, Trends and Imaginations, was launched on September 09, 2023 at the BMICH, Colombo.

Edited by Professor Jayadeva Uyangoda, the book is published by the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies (BCIS), Colombo.

With 21 chapters written by a team of Sri Lankan scholars, the two volumes cover historical as well as contemporary dimensions of democracy as a political idea, a site of social and political practice as well as a form of government in Sri Lanka.

This is the first book in Sri Lanka dedicated exclusively to the theme of the country’s experience with democracy. The chapters bring scholarly perspectives from a wide range of disciplines – anthropology, cultural studies, feminism, history, law, political economy, and political science. They situate democracy and democratisation in Sri Lanka in wider socio-political contexts, historical processes, contestations for power among the elites, institutional dimensions, and people’s struggles for rights and justice.

The book also highlights the revival of the people’s hopes for democratic restoration amidst elite-led democratic backsliding, de-democratization, and politics of authoritarianism.

A refreshing theme in the two volumes examines the struggles of the excluded social and ethnic communities and the citizens for deeper, inclusive and locally relevant conceptualizations of democracy. They show how politically dispossessed social groups have taken possession of the very idea of democracy to advance their own agendas for equality, justice and rights through defiance, resistance and struggle.

Questioning conventional wisdom on the subject, chapters of the two volumes provide alternative analyses of both democracy and democratization in Sri Lanka.

Stimulating much needed debate in the political discourse of the country for a ‘system change’, this collection also seeks to make a contribution to the contemporary scholarly efforts for critical democracy studies.

Democracy and Democratization in Sri Lanka: Paths, Trends and Imaginations, will be available at the branches of Vijitha Yapa (Private) Ltd and other leading bookshops.