The objective of this paper is to examine the importance of the role of state ideology behind the socio-economic policies of post-1977 period in Sri Lanka. Political party ideology is an important factor in the examination of socio-economic policies of a country. In the case of Sri Lanka party ideology is often sidelined and state ideology becomes a decisive factor in the understanding of socio-economic policies. Since independence power has been alternated between the two major parties, the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). These two major parties had different party ideologies, but the ideological inclination did not become a decisive factor in the formation of socio-economic policies in the country. Socio-economic policies of the two major parties have been guided by two broad state ideologies namely Keynesian Welfare state ideology and the Market-oriented ideology. The former became the decisive factor behind the socio-economic policies of Sri Lanka during the period 1948-1977 and the latter has become the important factor during the post-1977 era.
Sri Lankan Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Vol.1(2) Oct 2009