Studies conducted during the first phase of the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium (SLRC Phase, 2011 – 2017) inquired whether the state, through the delivery of services, influences state legitimacy in the eyes of the people. The overall findings from this phase indicated that access to and improved satisfaction with basic services did not translate into improved perceptions of government. This paper aims to advance the body of knowledge produced during this first phase by attempting to understand why access to, or improved satisfaction with basic services in Sri Lanka had a limited effect on people’s perception of government while experiencing problems with services had a much stronger effect.
This study seeks to understand the nature of legitimacy through everyday interactions with local-level service delivery in Sri Lanka through a series of focused case studies in three locations: Mannar, Nawalapitiya and Rajanganaya. The findings are based on fieldwork interviews of 100 respondents carried out in 2017 and 2018 in these locations, including interviews with local political actors, civil servants, civil society activists and academics.
This research is part of the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium (SLRC) programme
Gunasekara, V. Surenthiraraj, R. and Tilakarante, P. (2019) Services and legitimacy: exploring the everyday experiences of the state in Sri Lanka. Working paper. London: Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium.
Services and legitimacy: exploring the everyday experiences of the state in Sri Lanka