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.

Rethinking Social Development

Rethinking social development

In many societies GNP increases but human lives can shrivel.

—Mabul Ul Haq (1990)


The World Summit for Social Development (WSSD) met in Copenhagen in 1995 (hereinafter referred to as the Copenhagen Summit) to discuss the seriousness of the development crisis—a crisis marked by the persistence of the following:

  • The growth of poverty globally and the marginalisation and social exclusion of groups of people—the young, the unemployed, women and the ethnic minorities.
  • The social conflicts and civil wars leading to increased militarisation and warfare.

The backdrop to this crisis was, of course, Agenda 21 and the Rio Summit on the Environment, which documented forcefully the ecological crisis—the irretrievable destruction of natural resources and ecological vandalism. This summit was, above all, an occasion to ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles