The study investigates the paradoxical role of political parties in the political development of Bangladesh, their positive contributions in mobilizing masses behind the nationalist and the pro-democracy movements, yet their failure to translate their democratic promises into actual practices after the restoration of electoral democracy in 1991. It provides a historical overview of the development of political parties since independence highlighting their growing organizational weakness and the emergence of undemocratic tendencies. The major features of four main electoral parties, the Bangladesh Awami League, Bangladesh Nationalist Party, Jatiya Party and the Jamaat-e-Islami, are analysed. The study explores in depth a key question: how far do the political parties practice democracy within their own organizations. Finally it suggests a few actions to strengthen the democratic processes and organizational capacities of political parties which can contribute towards democratic consolidation in Bangladesh.
Publisher: Prothoma Prokashani
Price: Tk. 550
Author: Professor Rounaq Jahan taught political science at Dhaka University, Harvard University and Columbia University; headed women’s programs at UNAPDC, Malaysia and the ILO, Geneva and is currently a Distinguished Fellow of CPD. She obtained her Ph.D. from Harvard and is the author of several internationally acclaimed books which include: Pakistan: Failure in National Integration, New York: Columbia; Women and Development: Perspectives from South and South- East Asia (co-editor), Dhaka: BILIA; Bangladesh Politics: Problems and Issues, Dhaka: UPL; The Elusive Agenda: Mainstreaming Women in Development, London: Zed; and Bangladesh: Promise and Performance (editor), London: Zed. Professor Jahan was the founder-president of Women for Women, served on the board of the Population Council, is at present on the board of Human Rights Watch: Asia and is a recipient of the Radcliffe Institute Graduate Society award of Harvard University.