Dr. Sandunika Hasangani

Senior Lecturer (Grade II)

BA (Colombo), MA (TUFS-Tokyo, Japan), PhD (TUFS-Tokyo, Japan)

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Central Campus, Colombo Regional Center, 1st floor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences building, Room No: 15

Office: +94 112881083, Ext: 2410

E-mail: kahas@ou.ac.lk

Areas of Specialization:

International Relations, Digital Peacebuilding, Digital Ethnography, Digital Diplomacy, Silk Roads, South Asian Studies

Research interests:

Ethnic tolerance, identity construction and communal relations on social media
New media and conflict
Public opinion research on regionalism/regional organizations
Visual and multisensory International Relations/Politics
Visual peace research
Digital peacebuilding theory and practice
Medical international relations of Sri Lanka and on the Silk Roads
Social media data analysis; quantitative and mix-method research; visual data analysis


2020-Current – Varieties of Democracy Project, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

2019-2020 – Member of the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR)

2019-2020 – Member of Asian Studies Association, USA

2017-2019 – Member of British Association of South Asian Studies, UK

Programme Coordination:




2022-2023 – UNESCO Silk Roads Youth Research Grant

2019 – Linda Grove Graduate Paper Award, Asian Studies Association, Japan

2016-2019 – Japanese Government (MEXT) Full Scholarship for Doctoral Studies

2015 – 31st Eisaku Sato Award of Excellence, Eisaku Sato Memorial Foundation/United Nations University, Japan

2014-2016 – Japanese Government (MEXT) Full Scholarship for Graduate Studies

2022 – Conference Grant, Yale MacMillan Centre, Yale University, USA

2019 – Conference Grant, Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi, India

2017 – Conference Grant, East-West Center, Hawaii, USA

2017 – Conference Grant, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies Education Fund

2015 – Field Research Grant, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies Education Fund

Ongoing Research:

Hasangani, S. (2022-2023). “Shared medicinal practices along the Silk Road: Indigenization of Unani medical practice in Buddhist cultures” – Funded by UNESCO Silk Roads Youth Research Grant.

Hasangani, Sandunika. “Do South Asians believe in Regionalism? SAARC and beyond, using Twitter data” (under review).

Hasangani, Sandunika. and Ladd, Suren. “How do we teach from here? Early career educators’ dilemma of guiding Humanities/Arts and Social Science undergraduates (in Sri Lanka) to be industry ready” (under review).

Hasangani, Sandunika and Suren Ladd. “Pedagogical pathways: The contribution of educator agency in addressing digital exclusion in Higher Education in Sri Lanka,” in Equality, inclusion, and exclusion: International perspectives on digital higher education and social justice. Eds. J. Torabian, A. Hadjar and A. Toom, Cambridge Scholars, 2024.

Hasangani, Sandunika. “Visualizing everyday nationalism: An insight into the contemporary graffiti wave in Sri Lanka.”


Papers presented:

Hasangani and S. Jayasundara-Smits, “Tracing Indigenised Notion of Good Life; A Backward Journey Along the Ancient Silk Road,” EADI CESA-ISEG General Conference 2023, Lisbon, Portugal, 11 July 2023.

Hasangani, “Does state collapse reduce ethnic salience/identification? A reflection on Sri Lanka’s internal turmoil in 2022”, Yale Modern South Asia Workshop (Yale Macmillan Center), Kathmandu, Nepal, 29-30 July 2022.

Hasangani, “Social media and radicalization/ideological polarization: Preventive measures and policy implications,” Second BIMSTEC Think Tank Dialogue on Regional Security, Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi, 27-28 November 2019.

Hasangani, “Virtual construction of Sinhalaness on social media in post-war Sri Lanka (2009-2018),” Asian Studies Conference Japan, University of Saitama, June 2019.

Hasangani, “Non-fixity and Plurality of Ethnic Identity: The Case of Muslims in Sri Lanka,” ECPR General Conference, University of Oslo, Norway, September 6-9, 2017.

Hasangani, “Experimenting the Theory of Balance of Power in a Domestic Context: The Case of Sinhalese-Muslim Intolerance in Post-War Sri Lanka,” 16th International Graduate Student Conference, East-West Centre/ University of Hawaii, USA, February 16-18, 2017.

Hasangani, “Blurred Boundaries of Ethnicity: The Case of Muslims in Sri Lanka,” 7th Annual Symposium, Consortium for Asian and African Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan, October 22-23, 2016.

Hasangani, “Social Revolutionary Dynamics of the Arab Spring: Foreign Policy Implications for Sri Lanka,” International Research Conference on ‘Sri Lanka in World Affairs.’ University of Colombo, July 03-04, 2014.

Research Supervisions:

Media intervention in the trajectory of post-war discourse: A case study of Sri Lanka 2009-2020” (ongoing PhD project, co-supervision at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka)

Jayathilake. 2020. “The Effects on Digital Diplomacy in International Relations: Lessons for Sri Lanka,” LKI Policy Brief Series no. 23.



Hasangani, Sandunika. 2022. “Religious identification on Facebook visuals and (online) out-group intolerance: Experimenting the Sri Lankan case.” Journal of Asian and African Studies, Vol.57(2): 247-268. https://doi.org/10.1177/00219096211008466

Hasangani, Sandunika. 2021. “Virtual ethnicity? The visual construction of ‘Sinhalaness’ on social media in Sri Lanka.” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, Vol. 45(3): 417-439. https://doi.org/10.1080/00856401.2021.1972551

Hasangani, Sandunika. 2021. “COVID-19 and India’s withering pandemic diplomacy.” The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 110 (4), p.512-513. https://doi.org/10.1080/00358533.2021.1956747

Melegoda, Nayani and Sandunika Hasangani, 2020. “The Evolution of International Relations Scholarship and its Praxis in Sri Lanka: A Review of Historical Evidence,” Colombo Journal of Multi-Disciplinary Research, Vol.5(1-2), 97-119. http://doi.org/10.4038/cjmr.v5i1-2.56

Hasangani, Sandunika. 2019. “Social media and visual/textual framing of ethnic stereotypes: The virtual construction of Muslim image in post-war Sri Lanka,” Journal of Asian and African Studies (Japan), Vol.97:19-44.

Hasangani, Sandunika. 2019. “The making and breaking of (de-facto) ethnic alliances: A constructivist reading of Sinhalese-Muslim relations in Sri Lanka during 1983-2015,” Journal of Language, Area and Cultural Studies, Vol.25:187-204.


Book Chapters

Hasangani, Sandunika. 2021. “Regionalism as a strategy to mitigate online radicalization: The role of BIMSTEC.” In BIMSTEC: The Journey and the way forward, Sreeradha Datta (ed.), New Delhi: Pentagon Press.

Hasangani, Sandunika. 2015. “The Redemption.” In Write to Reconcile II: An Anthology, Shyam Selvadurai (ed.), p. 61-72. Colombo: National Peace Council.  https://www.shyamselvadurai.com/doc/Write_to_Reconcile_Anthology_2.pdf


Other Publications

Hasangani, Sandunika and Suren Ladd. 2023. “Preparing Arts/Social Science graduates in Sri Lanka for jobs.” LSE South Asia Centre.

Hasangani, Sandunika. 2022. “Social Control or Trust? A journey through Tokyo’s railway manner posters.” IIAS Newsletter 93 Autumn, Leiden.

Hasangani, Sandunika. 2022. “Do ethnic divisions disappear in the face of state collapse? A reflection on Sri Lanka’s internal crisis.” Insights, 719, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore.

Hasangani, Sandunika. 2020. “Tech Giants, ‘TechPlomacy’ and mitigating online radicalization: Lessons for Sri Lanka. LKI Policy Briefs Series No. 20.” Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies: Colombo.

Hasangani, Sandunika. 2020. “Did Social Media Polarize Society in the Aftermath of Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday Attacks?LKI Blog. Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies: Colombo.

Angela Huettemann, Pabasara Kannangara, Chathuni Pabasara and Sandunika Hasangani. 2020.Opportunities for deeper bilateral relations in the COVID-19 era: Sri Lanka-Japan Relations.” DailyFT.

Hasangani, Sandunika. 2016. ‘Blurred Boundaries of Ethnicity: The Case of Muslims in Sri Lanka. Consortium for Asian and African Studies, p.119-125. Tokyo: Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.

Hasangani, Sandunika. 2015. ‘China and the United States in an era of Nonpolarity: Balancing role of the United Nations Amidst Global Issues and the Struggle for Power.’ Eisaku Sato Foundation/United Nations University.

Hasangani, Sandunika. 2017. ‘Survivor.’ In The Power of Empathy, UNESCO (ed.), p.20-21. Paris: UNESCO.

The Open University of Sri Lanka
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