Crisis in Sri Lanka and the World-Colonial and Neoliberal Origins: Ecological and Collective Alternatives by Asoka Bandarage
Posted on February 8th, 2024

Volume 30 in the series De Gruyter Contemporary Social Sciences

book: Crisis in Sri Lanka and the World

 Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter 2023 thisShare this


About this book

Now in Paperback

This book provides a broad picture of Sri Lanka’s on-going political and economic crisis as the culmination of several centuries of colonial and neo-colonial developments. The book presents the Sri Lankan crisis as an exemplification of a broader global existential crisis facing more and more debt trapped countries, especially in the post-colonial Global South. The book’s in-depth case study raises important questions pertaining to sovereignty and political and economic democracy in Sri Lanka and the world at large.

The book also explores the emergence of the crisis in the context of the accelerating geopolitical conflict between China and the USA in the Indian Ocean. It ponders if the debt crisis, economic collapse and political destabilization in Sri Lanka were intentionally precipitated to the advantage of the Quadrilateral Alliance (USA, India, Australia and Japan).

Moving beyond geopolitical rivalry, the book juxtaposes Sri Lanka’s political-economic crisis with the broader ecological crisis of climate change and sea-level rise.

The book concludes with a consideration of the ethical dilemmas behind the debt and survival crisis in Sri Lanka and across the world. It points out a range of social movements and initiatives in Sri Lanka and the Global South which subscribe to collective and ecological alternatives and a Middle Path of sustainability and social justice.

  • Timely and well-researched
  • A global perspective on the Sri Lankan crisis
  • Offers ecological and collective alternatives as crisis resolution

Author / Editor information

Asoka Bandarage, California Institute for Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA, USA.


“In this well-written, well-researched scholarly text, Asoka Bandarage brilliantly combines a detailed historical analysis of the political and economic crisis in Sri Lanka and a global ethical perspective pertaining to similar crises elsewhere in the world.”
T. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan, Professor, Department of Economics, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

“A very useful analysis providing depth and background to understanding the current Sri Lankan economic crisis. Bandarage goes well beyond the standard tropes of ‘policy errors’ or culture/identity-based explanations, to locate the Sri Lankan experience in the wider context of profit-, technology- and finance-driven globalization.”
Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA

“Crisis in Sri Lanka and the World is a most timely book – and urgently needed for the world that is at a critical crossroads of extreme and accelerating possibilities. For alternatives that are just and sustainable, the crisis needs to be understood both historically as well as in the contemporary context. I cannot think of very many who can do that – both with scholarship and passion – with a fusion of global as well as local and holistic perspectives as Asoka Bandarage has been able to do here.”
Sajed Kamal has taught at Boston University, Northeastern University, Antioch New England Graduate School, and Brandeis University

“A powerful, riveting and in-depth analysis of the structural and destructive legacy of colonialism on post-colonial and debt-trapped countries like Sri Lanka … Dr. Bandarage’s superb book is well-researched, expertly synthesized and presented with rigor in an engaging and accessible writing style. It is a tremendous achievement and a must-read for every scholar and student of history, colonialism, underdevelopment, hegemonic domination and ecological disasters. Its cutting-edge scholarship is of critical importance in the fields of economics, political science, environmental studies and policy coordination at the national and international level.”
Filomina C. Steady, Professor Emerita, Anthropology and Africana Studies, Wellesley College, USA

Crisis in Sri Lanka and the World is a valuable addition to any library or private collection concerned with the historical roots and future of the crisis in Sri Lanka and its global implications. In these pages Professor Bandarage writes with urgency and clarity of her nation, its situation in relationship to a history of colonialism, neoliberalism, complex global issues, and climate change. She brings to the table a deep understanding of contemporary international complexities, and the reality of climate change for the world today. Her appeal to a more compassionate understanding of human nature and consciousness itself could not be more timely.”
Allan Leslie Combs, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Consciousness Studies and Director of the Center for Consciousness Studies, California Institute of Integral Studies

“Bandarage’s book … is a must-read for those seeking alternative methodological stances and more comprehensive perspectives on the analysis of socio-economic crises in emerging economies … . Crisis in Sri Lanka and the World stands out as a refreshing and much-needed addition to the body of literature addressing the Sri Lankan crisis of the 2020s. It provides a holistic viewpoint, highlighting the multifaceted nature of the crisis and tracing its origins back to Sri Lanka’s historical evolution from colonial times. Crisis in Sri Lanka and the World is perhaps the only comprehensive publication written from such a holistic approach so far … .”
W. D. Lakshman, Professor Emeritus, University of Colombo

“In Crisis in Sri Lanka and the World, Asoka Bandarage provides a profound and compelling analysis of the contemporary dilemma that goes far beyond conventional approaches. Using an in-depth case study of Sri Lanka, the book provides an incisive analysis of the structural and ideological roots of the interrelated global political, economic and existential crisis. It traces the trajectory of colonialism and neoliberalism which has given rise to environmental and social destruction including economic inequality, debt, poverty and political instability in Sri Lanka and the Global South. While delineating the prevailing system of exploitation and destruction, the book brings clarity and direction to the urgency of change. Going beyond a mere critique of capitalism, the book questions the paradigm of domination and the underlying dualism of self versus the other and calls for a shift towards a partnership approach to life which upholds the ethic of interdependence and harmony. This is a very thorough and insightful work of great value internationally to policymakers and activists in the environmental, social justice and peace movements and to all concerned with resolving the survival crisis facing us.”
Roberto Savio, Inter Press News Service, World Social Forum, Othernews, University for Peace of the United Nations

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Copyright © 2024 All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress