Sri Lanka’s post-independence social and political discourses have been dominated by issues connected with education, citizenship, national identity and economic development. This essay, based on some of the more recent social science research literature, provides a brief overview of the interconnections and interdependencies across the domains of education, citizenship and development. While much of the social science literature dealing with education, national identity and development have remained largely segmented, the analysis here is an effort to demonstrate how the three areas are closely interconnected. The essay also identifies the need to adopt evidence based public policies to bring about desired change. The key challenge is how to align education, national identity and development in order to achieve wider societal goals of national integration and inclusive and equitable development. Social science research has a critical role to play here, not only to inform social and political discourses on the above issues but also to guide the process of public policy making in the relevant sectors.
Keywords: education, citizenship, development, public policy, social justice, societal goals