Amarasinghe Lecture: Democracy and Political Culture: Some Aspects of the Experience of Sri Lanka

Democracy and Political Culture: Some Aspects of the Experience of Sri Lanka

A Talk by Yodage Ranjith Amarasinghe

Emeritus Professor of Political Science and former Dean of the Arts Faculty

University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Tuesday, October 20 4:30

Scheuer Room

Swarthmore College

Political culture, understood as patterns of orientations to political objects among members of a nation, influences shaping the political system of a given society. The third world democracy of Sri Lanka, once hailed as a model worthy of being emulated, stands seriously challenged today. There is no doubt that the two insurrections in the south and separatism in the north have significantly contributed to this current situation. In his talk Professor Amarasinghe will look at the impact of political culture in the whole process of building of democratic institutions and their practice, most particularly in the wake of the civil war. He will try to understand this by selecting a few major political themes such as power, power devolution, dissent and opposition, representation, among others, and examine how orientations to them impeded the shaping of democracy in the country.

Professor Amarasinghe, along with being Senior Professor and Head of the Department of Political Science and former Dean of the Arts Faculty at Peradeniya University, is author of monographs and articles on politics in contemporary Sri Lanka in Sinhala and English, including Peace by Agreement: Recent International Experience (in press); Political Culture and Democracy in Sri Lanka (2003); and Revolutionary Ideology and Parliamentary Politics: A Study of Trotskyism in Sri Lanka (200). He received his Ph.D in Political Science at the University of London in 1974, his B.Phil in Political Science at York, England in 1970, and has taught contemporary politics in the Intercollegiate Sri Lankan Education (ISLE) Program for the past 15 years.

For more information, please contact Steve Hopkins at shopkin1.

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