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Nadarajah, Suthaharan (2010) Clash of governmentalities : Liberal peace, Tamil freedom and the 2001-2006 peace process in Sri Lanka. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This dissertation argues that the dynamics, trajectories and outcomes of the Norwegian-led intervention in Sri Lanka from 2001 to 2006 to end the protracted armed conflict in the island can be productively understood as a 'clash of governmentalities', as the result of the simultaneous pursuit of competing idealizations of how populations, territory and forms of political rule should be organized. The first part of the study explores the concept of governmentality and sets out what is meant by a 'clash of governmentalities', a notion that turns on the different exercises of sovereignty, discipline and governmental modes of power in the service of competing rationalities of rule. Governmentality, it is argued, provides a novel and insightful way of looking at the consequences of international interventions in sites of 'internal' conflict such as Sri Lanka. The second part of the study explores the Norwegian- led peace process in Sri Lanka to show how two governmental rationalities, here termed Liberal Peace and Tamil Freedom, clashed via a myriad of micro-practices and ultimately produced an impasse which led not to lasting peace, but renewed war. The thesis thus examines the consequences of Liberal Peace, a political rationality which posits economic interdependence, democracy and the rule of law as constituting the sustainable foundations for world peace, encountering other, 'local' governmental projects which are also trying, sometimes violently, to reorder places in the global South according to their own rationalities of rule. The thesis concludes with a brief discussion of how the concept of a clash of governmentalities lends itself to further empirical and theoretical research.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:03

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