1st Edition

From Civil War to Soft Authoritarianism Ethnonationalism and Democratic Regression in Sri Lanka

By Neil DeVotta Copyright 2025
    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book shows how Sri Lanka’s civil war gradually undermined liberal democracy and caused the country to regress toward the current soft authoritarian dispensation. In doing so, it introduces the concept of 'ethnic supererogation,' a governing system built around the notion that a majority ethnic group and/or the state could go beyond the standard expectations to accommodate minority concerns and institute incentives for ethnic minorities to operate within a united state so as to preclude dissension and secession. Ethnic supererogation will be juxtaposed with various forms of ethnocentrism and control regimes, arguing that the former stands to promote stability while the latter inevitably unleash instability.

    1. Ethnic Superordination versus Ethnic Supererogation  2. Sinhalese Buddhist Nationalist Ideology  3. The Rise and Fall of the LTTE  4. Strategizing Identities during War  5. Tamil Diaspora and the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam  6. From Civil War to Soft Authoritarianism.  Conclusion


    Neil DeVotta is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Wake Forest University, USA.