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Taking Social Development Seriously: The Experience of Sri Lanka

by Laksiri Jayasuriya SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd
Pub Date:
Hbk 236 pages
AU$77.00 NZ$80.00
Product Status: In Stock Now
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This work presents a systematic historical and analytical understanding of Sri Lanka's social development. Instead of merely focussing on economic yardsticks, it studies the country's development in the conceptual framework of social policy, with an emphasis on the way current institutions reflect the impact of previous political conflicts and struggles.

The book critiques the country's social policy from the perspectives of the Western theories of 'welfare state' and development studies. It also provides valuable insights into the issues of modernization and democratization in colonial settings by analysing the distinctive nature of the Sri Lankan colonial experience. The book also looks at the future prospects of development in Sri Lanka in view of the unfolding of the complex social and political milieu following the end of the twenty-five-year-old civil war in the country.

This book will be a seminal reference resource for students and researchers working in the fields of development studies, colonial studies, South Asian studies, sociology, history and political science.

Foreword James Midgley
Changing Ideas of Social Policy
Rethinking Social Development
Marshall and Citizenship Theorising
The Formative Phase of Social Development in Sri Lanka
Welfarism and Democratisation in the Late Colonial State (1931-1948)
Consolidation of the Welfare State
Retreat from the Welfare State
Reclaiming Social Democracy: Charting a 'Third Way' for Sri Lanka
Postscript: Taking Stock after the Fall of Sri Lanka's Berlin Wall
Afterword by Nimal Sanderatne

This volume is the work of a mature academic and analyst. It draws on a formidable array of conceptual, policy and historical resources and in so doing makes an invaluable contribution to our understanding of an extremely important policy and social development site—once an exemplar of equitable social development, but now, as others have noted, a paradise clearly lost. The work generates understanding of the complex interplay of policy, economics and politics and its contribution is readily transferable to other contexts… The context gives weight to the value of Professor Jayasuriya’s reflective volume, not just for scholars of Sri Lankan society, but to those with an interest in the interface between public policy, economics and the real politics. The volume stands as a testimony to the value of comparative social policy.

Laksiri Jayasuriya, currently Emeritus Professor and Senior Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia, is a graduate of the University of Sydney, with a doctorate from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), University of London. Previously he was the Foundation Professor of Sociology and Social Welfare at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. In Australia he held the Foundation Chair of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Western Australia. His publications include Welfarism and Politics in Sri Lanka (2000), Immigration and Multiculturalism in Australia (1997), The Asianization of Australia? Some Facts about the Myths (co-author, 1999), The Changing Face of Electoral Politics in Sri Lanka (2005) and The Legacies of White Australia (co-editor, 2002).