This work presents a systematic historical and analytical understanding of Sri Lanka's social development. Instead of merely focusing 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 analyzing 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.

Changing Ideas of Social Policy

Changing ideas of social policy

The primary subject matter of social policy is egalitarianism; that is, concern with the problems of the more equitable distribution of social goods.

—Martin Rein (1976)

Understanding Social Policy

Social policy as an intellectual discourse and a key aspect of public policy has evolved mainly in the North (the advanced industrialised countries of the West) and is seen as a defining feature of the democratic capitalist state in the West. This rationale is, with modification, being incorporated into the South as a part of a development studies agenda. There has, in fact, been a strong tendency to link development studies to social policy, particularly after the Copenhagen World Summit on Social Development in 1996. There has, in fact, been ...

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