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Research Report

Poverty and Entitlement Dimensions of Political Conflict in Sri Lanka:: A Bibliographic Survey

G. Peiris
Copyright Date: Nov. 1, 2001
Published by: Clingendael Institute
Pages: 44

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. 1-2)
  2. (pp. 3-4)
  3. (pp. 5-6)

    This paper has been written in the framework of the research project entitled ‘Coping with Internal Conflict Project’ (CICP) executed by the Conflict Research Unit (CRU) of the Netherlands Institute of International relations ‘Clingendael’ for the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The CICP consists of four different components, namely ‘Power Sharing’, ‘Political Military Relations’, ‘Political Economy of Internal Conflict’ and ‘Resources, Entitlements and Poverty – related Conflict’.

    This bibliographic survey extends over research writings on Sri Lanka that are of salience to an understanding of the causal connections between inter-group conflict, on the one hand, and impoverishment (adverse changes of...

  4. (pp. 7-24)

    The application of the concept of ‘entitlement’ to the study of conflict unavoidably entails the premise that for any society there is an ideal entitlement (i.e. economic rights) configuration - one which facilitates political stability and harmony - and that deviations from that ideal cause (or, have the potential of causing) instability and conflict. However, such a premise, though theoretically sound, reduces the usefulness of the entitlement concept in its application to specific conflicts such as those encountered in many ex-colonial Third World situations in which entitlement delineations that ensure both political equilibrium as well as equity and social justice...

  5. (pp. 25-32)

    The subject of poverty has figured albeit at varying levels of prominence in most of the macro-economic studies on Sri Lanka conducted during the past three decades (Jayawardena, 1974; Karunatilake, 1974; Lee, 1977; Richards & Gooneratne, 1980; Bhalla & Glewwe, 1986; Isenman, 1987; Pyatt, 1987; Wickremasekera, 1985; Moore, 1989; Samarasinghe, 1989; Anand & Harris, 1990; Hopkins & Jogaratnam, 1990; Burton, 1992; Athukorala & Jayasuriya, 1994; World Bank, 1995; Lakshman, 1997; Dutt & Gunewardena, 1997; Aturupane, 1999; World Bank, 2000).³

    There is considerable similarity (and, indeed, some overlap of content) in the issues dealt in these studies. Moreover, the issues, despite some variation in their specific formulation,...

  6. (pp. 33-36)

    Although the statistical data pertaining to living standards (including personal income) available do not facilitate the drawing of firm conclusions on the exact long-term impact of the economic policy reforms launched in the late 1970s, the idea that intensifying poverty among those in the lowest income strata, a widening gap between the rich and the poor, and iniquitous disbursement of the benefits of development are among the principal causes for the pervasive instability and unrest in Sri Lanka throughout the past two decades has found expression in several writings among those referred to in the previous sections. That government policy...

  7. (pp. 37-44)