The SSA held a seminar on Nationalism, and History in December 1979, where historians and social scientists presented papers. These were published in three languages in 1984 under the title “Ethnicity and Social Change in Sri Lanka”. The writers were Senake Bandaranayake, Leslie Gunawardana, W.I. Suraweera, Susantha Goonetilake, Neil Kuruppu, K. Kailasapathy, Kumari Jayawardena, K. Sivathamby, P. Devaraj, Charles Abeysekera, Sunil Bastian and Susil Siriwardena.

The Swedish economist Dr E.H. Jacoby sponsored a Project concerned with “The Effects of the Operations of Transnational Corporations on Third World Agriculture and Rural Societies in Underdeveloped Countries” The SSA participated in this study from 1980 to 1982. Funding was from SAREC (Swedish Agency for Research Cooperation) to the SSA for this Project. At the Seminar in Colombo April 1983, Dr George Beckford and others from the West Indies attended, along with SAREC representatives. The book based on this research, published in 1985, was Capital and Peasant Production. Studies in the Continuity and Discontinuity of Agrarian Structures in Sri Lanka” edited by C. Abeysekera. Contributors were S.B.D de Silva, N. Shanmugaratnam, Sunil Bastian, P. Wickramasekera, Charles Abeysekera and Newton Gunasinghe. The areas of study were the Mahaweli Development Scheme, the Free Trade Zone, The Plantation Sector and the Tobacco Industry.