Intergroup and identity dynamics in response to post-war policies in Sri Lanka


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PhD thesis: a PhD thesis.
Intergroup and identity dynamics in response to post-war policies in Sri Lanka
Jayakody Jayakody Arachchilage Sumedha
Spini Dario
Usoof Ramila
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Université de Lausanne, Faculté des sciences sociales et politiques
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This thesis examines the continuation of identity based politics in post-war Sri Lanka in relation to the country’s
current trends in reparative, social and retributive justice policy. Based on arguments made on ethnic identity and its intricate
relationships with political power and violence, this study aspires to highlight a social psychological reading of the differed
social realities that have been created around transitional justice processes among the country’s Sinhalese and Tamil
ethnicities, with potential implications on future intergroup relations between them. It hypothesizes collective victimization,
an important component of ethnic identity, to impact differently the social realities of the general public in relation to
transitional justice and also hypothesizes varied collective ethnic group reactions as a consequence of such differed realities,
making predictions on future intergroup relations between the asymmetric power groups, the majority Sinhalese and
minority Tamils, that were quite recently engaged in protracted conflict. Through such an analysis, this thesis hopes to
highlight the rather strategic and selective approach adopted by the Sri Lankan state in implementing transitional justice
policies continuing to heighten ethnic group identities instead of de-heightening them, maintaining a post-war climate of
identity politics.
Three empirical studies presented within this thesis each investigate differed social realities surrounding
reparative, social and retributive justice in relation to three chronologically important post-war political outcomes within Sri
Lanka’s socio-political and economic discourse. Study 1 analyses public perceptions that underlie mass infrastructure
development that has taken place following Sri Lanka’s civil war while study 2 analyses public perceptions underling
collective action participation in relation to social justice demands following the war. Study 3 analyses public perceptions
and support towards accountability for human rights violation committed during the country’s recent troubled past.
Open Access
Swiss National Science Foundation
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24/01/2022 6:51
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04/03/2022 7:09
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