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Economic Roots of Political Conflict: The Case of Sri Lanka

  • Sirimal Abeyratne
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    The escalation of political conflicts in many developing countries and their impact on economic development have been topical issues in recent development literature. The overwhelming emphasis on 'ethnic conflicts' in the literature has, however, precluded analysts from looking at political conflicts beyond their ethnic dimension, in the wider context of the development process. In particular, because of the preoccupation with ethnic roots as the prime source of these conflicts, reverse causation, running from economic policy to political conflict, has been virtually ignored in the debate. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap through an in-depth case study of the 'twin political conflict' in Sri Lanka - the Tamil separatist war in the North and the Sinhala youth uprising in the South - with emphasis on its economic roots. The findings suggest that fundamental contradictions in the national development policy in the restrictive trade regime of Sri Lanka were at the heart of the country's twin political conflict. Copyright 2004 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal The World Economy.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 8 (08)
    Pages: 1295-1314

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:27:y:2004:i:8:p:1295-1314
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