Symbolic Warfare in the ethnocratic state: Conceptualising memorialisation and territoriality in Sri Lanka

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Abstract

Ethnocracies defend and protect the hegemony and territory of a dominant ethnic-nation. This article considers how paramilitary or guerrilla organisations professing to act on behalf of minority groups have used non-violent spatial practices such as memorialisation to contest the authority of the ethnocratic state and reassert their own (with varying success). Within ethnocracies where territory is fiercely contested memorialisation has the specific capacity to extend the parameters of conflict constituting a form of symbolic warfare. In exploring the nexus between memorialisation and territoriality this article reflects on the symbolic conflict between the LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka before the former's obliteration in May 2009.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-37
JournalTerrorism and Political Violence
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2012

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