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Eyes wide shut: persistent conflict and liberal peace-building in Nepal and Sri Lanka

Rasaratnam, M. and Malagodi, M. (2012). Eyes wide shut: persistent conflict and liberal peace-building in Nepal and Sri Lanka. Conflict, Security & Development, 12(3), pp. 299-327. doi: 10.1080/14678802.2012.703536

Abstract

The decisive, albeit different, endings of armed conflict in Sri Lanka and Nepal and subsequent post-war developments challenge key assumptions about conflict that have informed post-Cold War international efforts to produce peace in such conflict zones. International intervention—including in Sri Lanka and Nepal—characterises armed conflict as sustained by specific political economies that can only be stably resolved by establishing liberal democracy and market economics. This paper examines liberal peace engagement in Sri Lanka and Nepal to challenge a crucial assumption of the persistent conflict thesis, namely the separation between political contestation and armed conflict. It argues that the divergent post-conflict outcomes of continuing ethnic polarisation in Sri Lanka and constitutional reform in Nepal reveal strong continuities in the dynamics of pre-war, war and post-war politics. This continuity challenges the presumed separation of politics and violence that drove international engagement to produce liberal peace and suggests that such engagement, far from encouraging reform, may have (inadvertently) sustained conflict in both cases.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Conflict, Security and Development on 01/08/2012, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14678802.2012.703536
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
K Law
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/12773
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