We are a collective with a shared commitment to social justice and economic democratisation. Our objective is to keep questions of economic justice at the heart of on-going policy debates, research, rights advocacy and peoples’ struggles in Sri Lanka. As a platform for reflection and action, we aim to stimulate, share and disseminate information, ideas, critiques, debates and alternatives.
The meaningful exercise of democratic rights cannot be restricted to the civil and political spheres alone. Precisely because economic decision-making is complex and contested, debating it cannot be the sole prerogative of the political elite or experts. In Sri Lanka, the onslaught of neoliberalism and the decline of political economic analysis in recent decades have led to increasing inequalities and entrenched of the power of “economic experts”. Setting the path and goals of economic policy has far-reaching consequences, especially for the poor and socially excluded. In a context where powerful global economic and financial actors bend states and markets to their own ends, democratising economic decision-making is an urgent imperative.
Social, political and cultural agendas and claims, including ethno-nationalist or religious conflicts, often have economic bases. Similarly, economic concerns, whether they pertain to macro-policy or micro-economic decision-making, cannot be delinked from ideology, power relations, class oppression and social conflict, including questions of gender and identity. We accordingly strive for a historically grounded and socially relevant political economic analysis in solidarity with progressive struggles.