The Sarvodaya Movement: Holistic Development and Risk Governance in Sri Lanka, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Sarvodaya Movement

Holistic Development and Risk Governance in Sri Lanka, 1st Edition

By Praveena Rajkobal


216 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367224585
pub: 2019-11-25
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This book provides an important case study of how local cultures, religions and spiritualties can enhance development activities, and provide helpful frameworks for contemporary societies facing the pressures of neoliberalism. It specifically traces how the influential Sri Lankan Sarvodaya Movement has deployed concepts of spirituality-based holistic development to help local communities with post-tsunami reconstruction and redevelopment.

Throughout, the author provides a Three Sphere conceptualisation of holistic sustainable development, focused on Culture, Economics and Power, slightly revising the Sarvodaya’s Three Sphere model comprising Spirituality, Economics and Power. The author contends that the success of holistic development, including risk governance, is largely contingent on an awareness of the interdependency of these three spheres, and establishing equitable partnerships between communities, NGOs, INGOs, States, and the private sector. Overall, this book argues that religion, spirituality, and non-religious worldviews play an important role amongst other resources concerned with how to survive the pressures of neoliberalism and environmental risks and crises.

The Sarvodaya Movement, which draws on Buddhist concepts of spirituality, is widely acknowledged as an important example of spirituality and community-driven development, and as such, this book will be of interest to scholars of Development and Humanitarian Studies, Religious Studies, and South Asian Studies.

Table of Contents


List of Figures

List of Tables

1. Introduction

Part 1: Conceptualising Holistic Development

2. Risk and Development

3. Development, Spirituality and Risk Governance

Part 2: Sarvodaya Movement – Holistic Development and Risk Governance

4. The Sarvodaya Movement from the 1960s – 1980s

5. The Sarvodaya Movement during the 1980s and 2000s

6. Relief and Reconstruction – The Physical Rebuilding of Sarvodaya’s Post-tsunami Resettlement Villages

7. Rehabilitation and Reconciliation – The Social Rebuilding of Sarvodaya’s Post-tsunami

8. Stalled Reawakening and the Economics Sphere

9. Stalled Reawakening: Power and Consciousness Spheres

10. Conclusion


About the Author

Praveena Rajkobal is currently a consultant at GreenTech Consultants (Pvt) Limited in Sri Lanka. Praveena holds degrees from Deakin University, Australia (Ph.D. 2018), Monash University, Australia (Master of Environmental Science 2011) and the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka (B.A. Honours in Sociology 2006). Her research interests include community development, social change, risk governance and social movements. She has been conducting research in Australia and Sri Lanka and publishing in these areas since 2014.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Religion and Development

The Routledge Research in Religion and Development series focuses on the diverse ways in which religious values, teachings and practices interact with international development.

While religious traditions and faith-based movements have long served as forces for social innovation, it has only been within the last ten years that researchers have begun to seriously explore the religious dimensions of international development. However, recognising and analysing the role of religion in the development domain is vital for a nuanced understanding of this field. This interdisciplinary series examines the intersection between these two areas, focusing on a range of contexts and religious traditions.

We welcome book proposals on diverse themes such as faith-based development organisations; religious players in health programming; proselytization and development; religion and the environment; gender, religion and development; religion and post-colonialism; and indigenous communities and development.

To submit proposals, please contact the Development Studies Editor, Helena Hurd (

Series Editors:

Matthew Clarke, Deakin University, Australia

Emma Tomalin, University of Leeds, UK

Nathan Loewen, University of Alabama, USA

Editorial board:

Carole Rakodi, University of Birmingham, UK

Gurharpal Singh, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK

Jörg Haustein, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK

Christopher Duncanson-Hales, Laurentian University, Canada

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / Religion, Politics & State
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing Countries