Since its Independence in 1971, Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in terms of reducing poverty levels, achieving high levels of economic growth over a sustained period of time, and meeting its Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets set by the United Nations. With some justification, Bangladesh is considered an international development success story, and the country appears to be well on track to meet its policy target of becoming a middle-income country by 2021, the same year the country will celebrate 50 years of Independence.
This book explores the central issue of Bangladeshi politics: the weakness of governance. The coexistence of a poor governance track record and a relatively strong socioeconomic performance makes Bangladesh an intriguing case which throws up exciting and relevant conceptual and policy challenges. Structured in four sections - Political Settlement, Elites and Deep Structures; Democracy, Citizenship and Values; Civil Society, Local Context and Political Change; Informality and Accountability – the book identifies and engages with these challenges. Chapters by experts in the field share a number of conceptual and epistemological principles and offer a combination of theoretical and empirical insights, and cover a good range of contemporary issues and debate.
Employing a structurally determinist perspective, this book explains politics and society in Bangladesh from a novel perspective. Academics in the field of governance and politics in developing countries, with a focus on South Asia and Bangladesh will welcome its publication.
Introduction: Contesting political space: Who governs in Bangladesh, Ipshita Basu, Joe Devine and Geof Wood
Part I: Political Settlement
1. Party dysfunction and homeostatis in Bangladesh: The old disorder restored (or not), Harry Blair
Part II: Elites and Deep Structures
2. Where are the drivers of governance reform?, Pierre Landell-Mills
Part III: Democracy, Citizenship and Values
3. Citizen-centred governance: Lessons from high performing Asian economies for Bangladesh, Habibul Haque Khondker
4. Governance, rights and the demand for democracy: Evidence from Bangladesh, Ipshita Basu, Graham K. Brown and Joe Devine
Part IV: Civil Society, Local Context and Political Change
5. Deconstructing the natural state? Is there room for de Tocqueville or only Gramsci in Bangladesh, Geof Wood
6. When things go wrong in NGOs: What can be learned from cases of organisational breakdown and ‘failure’?, David Lewis
Part V: Informality and Accountability
7. The significance of unruly politics in Bangladesh, Naomi Hossain
8. Governance challenges in Bangladesh: Old wine in not so new bottles?, Joe Devine, Ipshita Basu and Geof Wood