1st Edition

Fifty Years of Bangladesh Economy, Politics, Society and Culture

Edited By Rounaq Jahan, Rehman Sobhan Copyright 2024
    316 Pages 44 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Fifty Years of Bangladesh portrays the multi-faceted dimensions of Bangladesh’s development journey, its economic and social transformation and political and cultural contestations.

    The book presents new empirical data supplemented with critical analysis of processes, actors and actions that have been the drivers of Bangladesh’s transformation and offers new ways of understanding Bangladesh. Organized in six sections, the book provides a multi-disciplinary, holistic and interrelated narrative of the Bangladesh story covering its economic and social transformation, the political history and changing cultural landscapes. It presents new empirical data and proposes new theoretical and analytical frameworks to explain the country’s complex and paradoxical developments. Capturing the vast landscape of changes that have taken place in different sectors of Bangladesh during the last fifty years, the contributors analyse the variety of Bangladesh’s experiences, its achievements as well as the shortfalls and mistakes. They propose new models and perspectives to ground Bangladesh’s developments, identify persistent and emerging challenges and suggest ways forward.

    A valuable addition to scholarship on Bangladesh, this book can be used as a reference in universities, research institutions and international development agencies interested in Development Studies, South Asian Studies and studies of the Global South.

    Chapter 1: Introduction: Transformation, contestation and challenges in Bangladesh, Rounaq Jahan and Rehman Sobhan Part 1. Economic transformation Chapter 2: Policy actions, market responses and economic growth in Bangladesh, Syed Akhtar Mahmood; Chapter 3: Bangladesh in dual transition: Attendant challenges and the next steps, Mustafizur Rahman; Chapter 4: Institutional challenges in Bangladesh’s economic transformation, Selim Raihan Part 2. Costs and challenges of development Chapter 5: Fifty years of development experience of Bangladesh: An employment and labour perspective, Rizwanul Islam; Chapter 6: Inequality and human development: The Bangladesh perspective, M.M. Akash; Chapter 7: Bangladesh between world system and green growth: Past trends, future trajectories, Iftekhar Iqbal Part 3. Social transitions Chapter 8: Fifty years of human development in Bangladesh: Achievements and challenges, Selim Jahan; Chapter 9: Contentious empowerment? Women, development and change in Bangladesh, Sohela Nazneen Part 4. Cultural contestations Chapter 10: Shahbagh, Shapla Chottor and Bangladesh’s meandering, contending mindscapes, Fakrul Alam; Chapter 11: Building Bangladesh: Critical orientations in architecture, Kazi Khaleed Ashraf; Chapter 12: The changing faces of culture: Notes from a time of crisis, Syed Manzoorul Islam Part 5. State, society, politics Chapter 13: Evolution of state-society relations in Bangladesh over the last five decades: An analytical narrative, Mirza Hassan; Chapter 14: Islamist politics in Bangladesh: The nature, scope, and the pathway, Ali Riaz; Chapter 15: State-making, violence, and political muscle: Bangladesh as a polycratic state, Arild Engelsen Ruud Part 6. The challenge ahead Chapter 16: Democratising the ‘Middle-Income’ dream: The coming challenge for Bangladesh at 50, Hossain Zillur Rahman; Index


    Rounaq Jahan, Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Bangladesh was a Professor of Political Science, Dhaka University; Adjunct Professor, Columbia University and a Research Fellow at Harvard, Chicago and Boston Universities. She headed the women’s programmes at UNAPDC, Malaysia and the ILO, Geneva. Her publications include Pakistan: Failure in National Integration (1972), Bangladesh Politics: Problems and Issues (1980, 2005), The Elusive Agenda: Mainstreaming Women in Development (1995), Political Parties in Bangladesh: Challenges of Democratization (2015). She serves on the boards of several national and international organisations.

    Rehman Sobhan, a recipient of Shadhinata Puraskar, Bangladesh’s highest civilian award, is founder and chairman, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD). He served as a member of the first caretaker government in Bangladesh in 1991 and a member, Bangladesh Planning Commission 1972–75. He was a Professor, Economics Department, Dhaka University, and Director General, BIDS, Bangladesh. He was actively associated with the Bengali nationalist movement during the 1960s and the Bangladesh liberation struggle in 1971. His publications include Challenging the Injustice of Poverty: Agendas for Inclusive Development in South Asia (2010), Untranquil Recollections: The Years of Fulfilment (2015) and Untranquil Recollections: Nation Building in Post-Liberation Bangladesh (2021).