Sunil Bastian is a political economist. His current research interests are politics of state formation and development of capitalism in Sri Lanka. He has published widely, and is the editor of Devolution and Development in Sri Lanka (1994). He has co-edited with Nicola Bastian, Assessing Participation, A debate from South Asia (1996), and with Robin Luckham, Can Democracy be Designed? The Politics of Institutional Choice in Conflict-torn Societies (2003) published by Zed Press, London. His most recent publication is The Politics of Foreign Aid in Sri Lanka. Promoting Markets and Supporting Peace (2007).
He has been a Senior Research Fellow at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo and chairperson of the Centre for Poverty Analysis. He has more than two decades of consultancy experience with a range of donor agencies.
Sustaining a state in conflict: Politics of foreign aid in Sri Lanka, Colombo:ICES, (2018)
This study focuses on politics of foreign aid to Sri Lanka from developed countries of the West, Japan and multilateral agencies during the period 1977 to end of the armed conflict in 2009. This period is characterised by economic policies that emphasised liberal economic policies and an armed conflict resulting from the Tamil demand for a separate state. The study looks at politics of foreign aid in this context. Foreign aid played a dual role. It helped to sustain a state engaged in an armed conflict, while at the same time trying to promote a negotiated settlement. Therefore it was neither a do-gooder that liberals tend to believe nor a 'foreign devil that Sinhala nationalists like to see.
The politics of foreign Aid in Sri Lanka
(2007) Politics of foreign aid in Sri Lanka, Promoting markets and supporting peace. Colombo: International Centre for Ethnic Studies.
Can democracy be designed?
(2003) Co-editor, Can Democracy be Designed? London: Zed Books.
Devolution and Development in Sri Lanka
(1994) Editor, Devolution and Development. New Delhi: Konark Publishers.
(1999) The Failure of State Formation, Identity Conflict and Civil Society Responses – The Case of Sri Lanka.
State formation - key ideas (2021)
Few thoughts to begin 2021 (2021)
(2011) Politics of market reforms and UNF-led negotiations.
Post 2015 Presidential Election-Some thoughts
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