Corruption, Corporates, and the Debt Crisis in Sri Lanka: Feminist Inflections
Sri Lanka defaulted for the first time in its 70-year post-independence history in 2022. Corruption is recurrently identified as an underlying factor, although often the foregone conclusions made are that of the public sector and government. Guy Standing’s (2017) book The Corruption of Capitalism unpacks how market systems come to be constructed as unfree and corrupt because of incentive structures that rig the system in favour of corporations. In my project, my aim is to use a feminist lens to analyse the role of corporate corruption in the political economy of the debt crisis in Sri Lanka; thus, taking the optic of corruption into the corporate sector and accounting for gendered ramifications. Using newspaper archives and grey literature that track and implicate the private sector in corruption, whether enmeshed with politicians, the military or through a web of corporate networks both within and outside of the country, will used to disentangle the gendered implications on women workers in the garment sector. In doing so, I also hope to show corporate corruption also undermines institutions and structures otherwise needed to facilitate the functioning of capitalism and democracy.