Bart Klem: “Performing Sovereign Aspirations: Tamil Insurgency and Postwar Transition in Sri Lanka”
This seminar will be held by Bart Klem, senior lecturer at the School of Global Studies at the University of Gothenburg. The seminar is co-arranged with the Peace and International Politics Research Group at Lund University.
About the seminar
In this seminar, Bart Klem will share his findings, drawn from his book which the presentation is based on, providing a detailed account of the complex ground realities of the Tamil separatist conflict in Sri Lanka, both during and after the civil war. It adopts an analytical perspective of performative politics to understand the convoluted and contested nature of a conflict-ridden institutional landscape. In a society that experiences secessionist conflict, many departments, courts, elections, bureaucracies, and borders are not what they seem – and they are not recognised for what they claim to be.
The book explores how political institutions are enacted and witnessed, rather than cataloguing them in the formal legal framework of the state concerned (which often stands at the heart of the conflict). This provides a fertile vantage point to address the to-be-or-not-to-be dilemmas around the interpretation of legitimacy, legality, and validity, and it provides food for thought for broader conceptual debates concerning armed conflict and insurgency.
About Bart Klem
Bart Klem's research is focused on question of political order amidst and after civil war. He is interested in state institutions, de facto sovereignty of rebel movements and public authority. Sri Lanka is his main country specialisation, and he has an emerging interest in Indonesia (mainly Kalimantan). More details can be found on his personal website: Bart Klem | University of Gothenburg (gu.se)
The seminar is co-arranged with the Peace and International Politics Research Group at Lund University.