chapter
24 Pages

Introduction

Border
WithAnoma Pieris

This chapter argues that the movement of capital, resources and human populations across the island’s physical borders, the implosion and multiplication of ethnicised geographies and the internal social divisions caused by ethnic contestation destabilised the political field of nation-state sovereignty. Concepts like ‘ontological insecurity’, which are increasingly adopted in the field of international relations, explore intimate social and psychological experiences of alienation linked to exclusion from nation-state sovereignty. In political theory, national transformations are attributed to geopolitical changes synonymous with the end of the Cold War. The politics of the Sri Lankan conflict and its spatial contours have been hotly debated in analyses of prior settlement, colonial policies of divide and rule, and postcolonial entitlements. Despite the proliferation of violence-related studies, architectural scholarship remains silent on the Sri Lankan civil war, unlike comparable analyses on the Israeli and Bosnian conflicts. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.