Rowman and Littlefield International

Power, Identity and Conflict in Sri Lanka

Deeper Hegemony

By David Rampton

Publication Date: Apr 2019

Pages 224

Hardback 9781783480913
£80.00 €112.00 $120.00
Ebook 9781783480937
£24.95 €34.95 $37.95
Not available for pre-order
Standard accounts of identity and conflict have tended to assume that power, nationalist discourses and the conflicts they generate are dominated by political elites and states. This book challenges those traditional assumptions by developing a novel practice-oriented understanding of nationalist identity and conflict operative through socially diffuse networks of power.

Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Sri Lanka, the text explores how the history, politics and culture of this fascinating island have created national identity discourses that contest many assumptions of nationalist theories. The book uses this empirical research, alongside a fusion of poststructural and phenomenological approaches, to show how the historical diffusion of power and knowledge, through global and local identity structures, can generate nationalist discourses and effects across a variety of social levels, thus challenging elite-centric and statist accounts. Using further comparative examples from Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia, the book shows how this new theoretical approach can be seen in action in a variety of contexts with shared identity frameworks and political cultures of patronage, authoritarianism and militarisation.

Introduction / 1. Co-Constituted Orders: Theorizing Conflict, Identity and Power / 2. Recovering Kingship: Colonial Discontent and the Emergence of Sinhala Buddhist Nationalism in the 19th Century / 3. Waves of Diffusion: Sinhala Buddhist Nationalism and the Labour Movement / 4. Independence Without Hegemony: Elite Reformism, Subterranean Nationalism and the Legacy of Colonialism / 5. A Many-Headed Hyrda: The Manifold Tendrils of Sinhala Nationalist Hegemonisation / 6. Would the Real Dutugemunu Please Stand Up? Marxism, ‘Authenticity’ and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna / 7. Hegemony and Resistance: The Failure of Ethnic Accommodation and the Rise of Tamil Separatism / 8. ‘One Nation, One People’: The Colluding Words of Liberal Peace and Sinhala Nationalism / 9. Post-War Sri Lanka: A Victor’s Peace? / 10. Conclusion
David Rampton is an LSE Fellow in Global Politics in the Government and IR Departments at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has published articles in edited volumes and in academic journals including Review of International Studies and Commonwealth and Comparative Politics.

Also Recommended