ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Question of Militarisation in Post-war Sri Lanka

A political economic study of militarisation in Sri Lanka must situate it within the neo-liberal transformation of the country, the changing role of the state in the economy this has entailed, and the state-society model which has enabled regime consolidation through significant electoral victories. The international image of the military as a force of untrammelled power within Sri Lanka and the image being constructed within Sri Lanka of the military as capable of winning all battles are both flawed and undermine progressive politics. The need is for serious analysis and a far-reaching debate on militarisation which can enable dissent and contribute towards post-war democratisation.

The Military Expansion into Education

Militarisation, or securitisation, in Sri Lanka is not necessarily restricted to the formal military structure; its orientation is far more pervasive, as can be evidenced in the recent developments in the education sphere. Already existing imbalances and practices in the education sector have been exacerbated by the military ideology imposed upon it by the Sri Lankan government.

Militarisation, Lankan Style

The military in Sri Lanka is being transformed from a politically non-partisan entity into the de facto praetorian guard of the Rajapaksa family - a force willing and able to overstep legal and constitutional limits in defence of Rajapaksa rule. Concomitantly, civilian spaces are being infused with a "Rajapaksaised" military, and civilian institutions compelled to submit to its authority.

Modalities of an Emergent Dictatorship

The Rajapaksa regime is on a premeditated course to establish an authoritarian regime in Sri Lanka. The specific modality through which power will be exercised is a totalitarian corporatist state strategy.

In Memory of Hobsbawm

An assessment of Hobsbawm based on the contexts and contradictions which marked his life and work. Using insights from his autobiography, Interesting Times, this tribute attempts to understand his politics and academic contributions which make him one of the greatest historians of the 20th century.

Remembering Eric Hobsbawm

A historian who straddled the intellectual scene of 20th century social sciences, Eric Hobsbawm leaves behind a rich, layered and also contested legacy. A member of the path-breaking British Historians' Group of Marxist scholars, he stood apart both for the expansiveness of this academic output as well as his political positions. A survey of his varied contributions to academia and intellectual life presents a picture of a man, who, despite the realisation of the failure of socialism in the 20th century, kept alive the promise of the October Revolution.

Reflections on Hobsbawm

This short reflection highlights Hobsbawm's influences outside the Marxist tradition and speaks about the shared concerns and divergences with the author.

The Brilliance and Dogmatism of Hobsbawm

Eric Hobsbawm was a pioneer in introducing new methods and perspectives in the historian's craft and breaking the bounds of the discipline. His intellectual contributions to our understanding of the world, even in contexts far removed from what he studied and wrote about, are exceptional. However, his academic brilliance was scarred by his unquestioning loyalty to the Communist Party of Great Britain, which made him compromise academically when writing on the history of the 20th century. Yet, despite this fl aw, his intellectual achievements are staggering.

Euro's Salvation

The euro's salvation lies in a little less Europe in fi scal and regulatory policy, not more.

Gendering the Twelfth Plan: A Feminist Perspective

A gendered analysis of the Approach Paper to the Twelfth Five-Year Plan suggests that women must be recognised as growth agents in India's political economy across all sectors. The gendering of public policy must move into macroeconomic space. While "inclusion" is listed as an objective, there is lack of clarity on the mechanisms for including the excluded, and for measuring and monitoring inclusiveness over the plan period. From a gender point of view, the generation of livelihoods and employment should be the central driving force for growth, and the resources generated should support social policies that universalise education, health and social security.

Beyond Feminine Public Altruism

The rapidly changing urban scenario seems to have important implications for gendering governance in Kerala. Thus, besides the different histories mediated by caste and community, the spatial location of women leaders in local governance appears to be of central importance in shaping their agency. This article which is based on the research about women leaders in local governance in Kerala in 2005-10 explores the extent to which success in local governance allowed these women entry into politics and gave them a greater presence within the public life. Generally it is seen that successful women leaders are often the bearers of a specific form of power that has been historically associated with the deployment of sentiment and affect, and ideal femininity, and that such power is understood to be crucial to local governance as well. However, an entirely different picture emerged from this study on women leaders of urban governance. Besides gentle power, successful women attribute their success equally to knowledge - of official norms and procedures.

Ladlis and Lakshmis: Financial Incentive Schemes for the Girl Child

A desk review of 15 girl child promotion schemes relying on conditional cash transfers across the states and discussions with a few non-governmental organisations, implementing officials and beneficiaries show up some of the shortcomings. The eligibility criteria, conditionalities and registration procedures need to be simplified. Despite the pumping in of huge financial resources, there is no field-level monitoring to study the impact of such schemes nor is there a grievance redressal mechanism. An in-depth analysis would help in assessing whether in the long run conditional cash transfers could lead to a significant change in the parental attitude towards daughters.

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