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Showing one's colours: the political work of elections in post-war Sri Lanka


Klem, Bart (2015). Showing one's colours: the political work of elections in post-war Sri Lanka. Modern Asian Studies, 49(4):1091-1121.

Abstract

This article analyses Sri Lanka's April 2010 parliamentary elections as they played out in the Muslim community on the east coast. The political work of elections, as the article shows, involves a lot more than the composition of government. Antagonism over group identities and boundaries are at centre stage. Elections force people to show their colours, which causes turbulence as they grapple with several, possibly contradictory, loyalties. The article argues that elections bring together different political storylines, rather than one master antagonism. It is the interaction between different narratives that paradoxically provides elections both with a sense of gravity and dignity, and with the lingering threat of rupture and disturbance.

Abstract

This article analyses Sri Lanka's April 2010 parliamentary elections as they played out in the Muslim community on the east coast. The political work of elections, as the article shows, involves a lot more than the composition of government. Antagonism over group identities and boundaries are at centre stage. Elections force people to show their colours, which causes turbulence as they grapple with several, possibly contradictory, loyalties. The article argues that elections bring together different political storylines, rather than one master antagonism. It is the interaction between different narratives that paradoxically provides elections both with a sense of gravity and dignity, and with the lingering threat of rupture and disturbance.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:Unspecified
Language:English
Date:1 July 2015
Deposited On:25 Oct 2018 15:01
Last Modified:24 Sep 2019 23:39
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0026-749X
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/s0026749x13000528
Related URLs:https://www.swissbib.ch/Search/Results?lookfor=nationallicencecambridge101017S0026749X13000528 (Library Catalogue)

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Content: Published Version
Language: English
Filetype: PDF (Nationallizenz 142-005) - Registered users only until 1 July 2020
Size: 311kB
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Embargo till: 2020-07-01