The Developmental Government and Economic Development in Sri Lanka 2005–2019: Lessons from East Asian DevelopmentalismYan He
The political and economic development of Sri Lanka from 2005 to 2019 was occurred amidst much controversy. This article focuses on the relationship between economic growth and regime change in Sri Lanka during those fifteen years and the challenges these events pose to most theories of democratic development. Drawing on an ideal type of East Asian developmentalism to construct an explanatory framework for a comparative study of political and economic policies of the developmental government in Sri Lanka through case analysis and process tracing over three periods of governance, this article argues that efficient strongman leadership, an imbalanced bureaucracy, and simplified industrial policy are important explanatory variables for national development in Sri Lanka. An examination of these variables can clarify the characteristic strengths and weaknesses of developmental governments in Sri Lanka and lead to new explanations of related issues. The applicability of this framework remains to be tested, and the return of the Rajapaksa family to power may give an opportunity for this.