Abstract / Description of output
This paper examines the relationship between developmental and cultural nationalism through an extended case study of the Sri Lankan conflict. It highlights, in particular, the deeply political process of the construction of nations in which the usual opposition between politics and an anti-political realm of the nation or culture itself plays an important role. The conflict, it is argued, has to be understood first of all in political terms, as the outcome of a specific history of electoral politics which, from the 1930s on, was structured along 'ethnic' lines. Appeals to the national or the cultural, which often appear in rhetorical opposition to the divisive forces of everyday politics, are nevertheless themselves products of the very political processes they claim to transcend.