Sunil Bastian

Can democracy be designed?

Can democracy be designed?(2003) Co-editor, Can Democracy be Designed? London: Zed Books.

There are no single unequivocal answers to the question this book addresses. Yet these highly informed original contributions on the politics of institutional design offer a wealth of insights into the kind of processes that have led to recent successes and failures on the democratization front.'
Martin Dcarnbas, Institute of social Studies, the Hague
Constitution making for democracy has always been a highly political and contested process. It has never been more ambitious, or more difficult, than today as politicians and experts attempt to build democratic institutions that will foster peace and stability in countries torn by violent conflict.
The extended investigation out of which this book has grown ranges across three continents. Is examines such apparently intractable cases as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sri Lanka and Fiji, as well as apparent 'success stories' like South Africa, Ghana and Uganda.
Three groups of questions are explored:

  • How and by whom were democratic institutions (re) designed:
  • How have they functioned in practice: what has been  the relationship between democratic institutions and democratic politics:
  • How have they measured up to the pressures placed on them by ongoing violence, poverty, globalization and demorcatisation itself?

This thoughtful and empirical set of explorations is highly relevant to other societies wrestling with similar problems of institutional design in situations of democratic transition and/or deep-seated social conflict. 


Assessing participation - A debate from south asia Assessing participation - A debate from south asia
(1997) Co-editor, Assessing Participation: A Debate from South Asia. New Delhi: ITDG/Konark Publishers.

The politics of foreign Aid in Sri Lanka The politics of foreign Aid in Sri Lanka
(2007) Politics of foreign aid in Sri Lanka, Promoting markets and supporting peace. Colombo: International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

Devolution and Development in Sri Lanka Devolution and Development in Sri Lanka
(1994) Editor, Devolution and Development. New Delhi: Konark Publishers.


(2010) Politics and Power in a Market Economy.

(2010) Contradictions of Capitalism.

(2009) Politics of Land Reform and Land settlement in Sri Lanka.

(2013) Post-war political economy


Post-war capitalism

Post 2015 Presidential Election-Some thoughts

Copyright @ 2020 Sunil Bastian.