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Political Parties in Bangladesh : Challenges of Democratization

political_partiesThe 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 Prokashan

Publication Period: February 2015
ISBN 978-984-90039-3-9
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.


Professor Rounaq Jahan’s book on political parties reviewed

Professor Rounaq Jahan’s book on political parties reviewed, published in The Daily Star on Monday, 13 July 2015. Political Parties in Bangladesh: Challenges of Democratization Author: Rounaq Jahan Dhaka: Prothoma Prokashan, 2015, pp. 212 Ahrar Ahmad Bangladesh abounds in paradoxes.  It has confounded many developmental pundits by maintaining a fairly brisk pace of economic growth …


Professor Rounaq Jahan’s book on political parties launched

Published in The Daily Star on Sunday, 5 April 2015. Political parties not democratised Agree leaders from three major parties at the launch of Rounaq Jahan’s new book ‘Political Parties in Bangladesh: Challenges of Democratization’ Challenges of Democratization’ Staff Correspondent Democracy is not practised within the political parties of Bangladesh but the way to change …


Sustainable democracy requires intra-party democratic practice

Democratic practices and participatory culture must be revived within the political parties in order to achieve transparent and stable democratic governance in Bangladesh. Good political leadership and democratised state institutions are of paramount importance to do away with the culture of confrontational politics, corruption and other malfunctions prevailing since the restoration of electoral democracy in the …


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