Rina M. Alluri

The private sector in peace promotion: Sri Lanka

This thesis analyses the role that local business actors have played in contributing to the politics of peace and conflict in Sri Lanka. It analyses the root causes of conflict generally and the Sri Lankan civil war specifically. It traces how different political conditions have influenced the changing role of local business actors. It explores how the post-independence statebuilding process paved the way for a socio-economic stratification that pitted old elites against new elites – a process that would determine party politics in the country until present day. Further, this influenced the way in which economic and political actors would continue to interact with one another.  On the one hand, autonomously, and on the other hand interdependently. As the academic field of ‘business and peace’ remains rather novel, this thesis aims to fill a theoretical gap and empirical gap of how local business actors can contribute to both peace promotion and conflict exacerbation. It does this by analysing the relationships between economic and political actors and how certain political conditions have influenced the changing role that local businesses have played in peace and conflict in Sri Lanka.

Supervisor: Laurent Goetschel

Co-Supervisor: Jayadeva Uyangoda (University of Colombo)



Rina M. Alluri is a Program Officer in the Business and Peace program at swisspeace and a PhD Candidate in Political Science at the University of Basel, Switzerland. She is interested in academic and practical examples of corporate engagement in peacebuilding and has been working in and on contexts such as Sri Lanka, Rwanda and Myanmar. Her PhD focuses on the inter-linkages between politics, economy and conflict in Sri Lanka. Prior to joining swisspeace, she worked with Fahamu: Networks for Social Justice in Oxford, UK and Durban, South Africa and with the Liu Institute for Global Issues in Vancouver, Canada. She holds a BA from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada and an MA from the Institute of Social Studies in the Hague, Netherlands.

Memberships: IGS North-South


PhD in: 2014

Next Position: Head (ad interim), Business & Peace at swisspeace