Posted by: lrrp | January 11, 2015

Populist Authoritarianism. Why Mahinda Rajapaksa will abdicate the Reins: A Forecast in 2012

Thuppahi's Blog

Michael Roberts

 Reflections in January 2015

In the course of my teaching and researches I developed some interest in the phenomenon known as “populism” which informed political currents in interwar USA, Romania and parts of Eastern Europe in the 20th century. I gained considerable inspiration from the book Populism. Its Meanings and National Characteristics, edited by G. Ionescu & E. Gellner (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson). Populism had affinities with fascism, but had its roots in farming populations. Thus it was a form of “peasantism” — thereby slotting into  the university courses on peasant rebellions which I had initiated within the Department of Anthropology at Adelaide University.

This background informed my reading of political developments in Sri Lanka from the 1940s –especially the influence of the panchamahābalavēgaya1] at the electoral revolution in 1956 and the continuing force of the ideological currents associated with the“1956 revolution” in subsequent…

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