1 Exploring Governance, Security & Development: Discourse and Practice , Habib Zafarullah
Any global structure comprises of ideational and material elements. To put the idea into practice, members of the global community formulate rules and regulations and marshal resources to build capacities and institutions that can affect states and societies. Although the effects of the global structures on the state fragility are increasingly being recognized, the pathways through which they can affect the states contributing to its fragility or strengthening its resilience have been rarely examined. This paper aims at filling the void in the literature by offering a structural explanation of state fragility. The post 9/11 structure of the Global War on Terrorism (GWoT) has been taken as a proxy to theorize the pathways. It argues that the ideational and material factors of the GWoT operate through: (i) the cognitive pathway shaping the states’ thinking, interpreting and reasoning process (ii) the regulatory pathway creating demand for policy coordination, cooperation and compatible legal and procedural instruments for counter terrorism (CT) and their compliance (iii) the capability pathway shaping the states’ coercive capability, institutions and CT alliance building. The theorized pathways are illustrated through schematic diagrams showing how they can impact the states’ legitimacy and capacity dimensions contributing to the increase or decrease of the state fragility to facilitate their tracing in individual case studies. Finally, the paper makes comparative analysis of the cognitive, regulatory and capability pathways highlighting their relationship and relative significance.
2 A Structural Explanation of State Fragility: Theorizing the Causal Pathways , Mohammad Zahidul Islam Khan & Dominik Zaum
Any global structure comprises of ideational and material elements. To put the idea into practice, members of the global community formulate rules and regulations and marshal resources to build capacities and institutions that can affect states and societies. Although the effects of the global structures on the state fragility are increasingly being recognized, the pathways through which they can affect the states contributing to its fragility or strengthening its resilience have been rarely examined. This paper aims at filling the void in the literature by offering a structural explanation of state fragility. The post 9/11 structure of the Global War on Terrorism (GWoT) has been taken as a proxy to theorize the pathways. It argues that the ideational and material factors of the GWoT operate through: (i) the cognitive pathway shaping the states’ thinking, interpreting and reasoning process (ii) the regulatory pathway creating demand for policy coordination, cooperation and compatible legal and procedural instruments for counter terrorism (CT) and their compliance (iii) the capability pathway shaping the states’ coercive capability, institutions and CT alliance building. The theorized pathways are illustrated through schematic diagrams showing how they can impact the states’ legitimacy and capacity dimensions contributing to the increase or decrease of the state fragility to facilitate their tracing in individual case studies. Finally, the paper makes comparative analysis of the cognitive, regulatory and capability pathways highlighting their relationship and relative significance.
3 Growth Narrative of Bangladesh Economy , Fahmida Khatun
Bangladesh has made impressive progress and undergone structural changes over the last five decades despite resource constraints and various social and political challenges. However, while in the long-term, its economic growth is remarkable, the short-term performance is somewhat disappointing. Moreover, while the average and aggregate numbers paint an inspiring image, disaggregated indicators do not often support the apparent good health of the economy. This paper brings out two issues: (i) what have been the growth drivers of Bangladesh economy, and (ii) what have been the outcomes of growth. It also makes a number of recommendations for maintaining, expediting and sustaining the growth momentum. The article recommends for more employment generation in the formal sector, reduction of inequality, mobilization of higher domestic resources, energizing private investment, and above all, ensuring good governance. The paper emphasizes on continuous institutional reforms to improve the quality of growth and ensure distributional justice in Bangladesh.
4 Three Decades of Bangladeshi Politics (1990-2019): The Emergence and Collapse of the Political Settlements , Ali Riaz
This paper explores the tumultuous political history of Bangladesh since it embarked on democratization process in 1991 after two decades of civilian and military authoritarianism, using the political settlement framework. Political settlement, in this paper is understood as, an agreement among elites and other social forces regarding ‘distribution of benefits supported by its institutions consistent with the distribution of power in the society’ (Khan, 2010). At the political level the arrangement is expected to ensure that the system would not unravel by conflict and violence. In the past decades, the country not only experienced repeated episodes of violence but also hopes of a democratic transformation have faded. Bangladesh has moved towards a non-inclusive political system. The paper argues that the period in question is marked by the emergence and collapse of a political settlement among political elites. It explores the nature and scope of the political settlement that emerged in the 1980s and collapsed by 2010, and demonstrates that by 2014, an exclusionary authoritarian settlement has emerged characterized by a lack of inclusivity and coercive apparatuses’ heightened role. The breakdown of political settlement was predicated by the nature of the settlement, its implications for the elites in the challenger coalition, and the degree of inclusivity of the dominant coalition. The exclusionary political settlement provides a semblance of ‘stability’ for a limited period but fails to contain the tension in the long term even when it delivers economic growth.
5 Looking in From the Outside: Media in the Mix of Governance, Security and Development , G.M. Shahidul Alam
The Constitutions of democratic countries list, and elaborately specify the makeup and functions of, three branches of government: the Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary. The Media, dubbed the Fourth Estate by Edmund Burke, cannot be a part of the government. In fact, to contemplate a free media being a part of a government would be an oxymoron. After all, the Media is there to keep a check on the abuse of power by the government and other power structures. This paper looks at the media’s role in a country’s governance, security, and development, and these are encapsulated, indicating also to their complementarity, in the quality traditional media’s glamour best: political journalism. Today, in the early twenty-first century, journalism is still, for good and ill, at the heart of politics. But political journalism is also changing and reinventing itself as a craft and a profession in the face of harsh competition, a rapidly changing business environment, and a political world undergoing its own profound changes. Furthermore, in the Internet Age, the new media, because of the possibilities for good or mischief that it can create, is often a target for manipulation towards one’s own benefit, and at the expense of other political entities, in a number of countries.
6 Globalization, Democratic Institutions and The Fairness of the Elections , Md. Mujahedul Islam
A central normative argument of liberal democracy is that elections as instruments of democracy need to be free, fair and neutral to reflect peoples’ opinions. In many parts of the world, particularly democracies in developing countries of South Asia and Africa, governments are formed by elections that are sometimes considered 'flawed' by the people and international observers. This raises a critical question with far-reaching implications for democracy: What affects the fairness of the elections? Is there any significant direct effect of globalization on elections? If not, under what circumstances does  globalization influence the quality of elections? Do effective political institutions condition the effect of globalization on the fairness of the elections? I empirically assess these questions from 2006 to 2010 for 100 countries in a time-series cross-sectional statistical model using the 2015 Quality of Government (QoG) dataset. The results suggest that greater levels of globalization significantly increase the fairness of the elections in countries where effective political institutions exist. The results furthermore  demonstrate that in the absence of viable democratic institutions, an increased level of globalization may not always correspond to free, fair and neutral elections.
7 Siege, Resistance, and Politics in 'New Kashmir' , Mohd Tahir Ganie
In August 2019, the populist Modi government, after getting re-elected in a massive landslide, rescinded the semi-autonomous status (constitutionally guaranteed under Article 370) of the disputed Muslim-majority region of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) by putting its 12 million residents under an unprecedented lockdown. This article will examine the ramifications of this decision, which earned praise in mainland India but generated anger and fear among the people of J&K, especially in the Kashmir Valley, the epicenter of the Kashmiri self-determination movement? It situates the prior measures Indian government took to impose its decision on the population which strongly opposed it and assesses the human cost of this imposition. It looks at the international community’s response to the political and human rights crisis obtained due to the siege imposed on the people of the contested Himalayan region. And, finally, the article indicates that the political future of Kashmir, which has been the main source of intense geopolitical rivalry between two nuclear-armed South Asian neighbors (India and Pakistan), and a site of protracted armed conflict and unarmed anti-India resistance, is likely to remain caught in a cycle.
8 Rounding the Corner in the COVID-19 Era: An Inclusive Sustainable Recovery Pathway for Bangladesh , Rashed Al Mahmud Titumir & Antara Chowdhury
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges thronging the economy off-guard at a time when the country is stepping onto its 50th years of independence. There has evidently been a reversal of the gains made in terms of socio-economic progress because of the economy’s fundamental weakness in absorbing shocks, which has been further aggravated by the pre-COVID19 fault lines. The government’s business as usual responses appear as ‘active inaction’ as opposed to embarking upon a framework of ‘active restraint’, as suggested in the article, comprising public good provision, redistributive policies, macro-financial intervention and structural policy reforms. Accordingly seven principles and seven programs for overcoming the crisis are listed here and if these are fulfilled, relatively a discriminatory K recovery pathway can be avoided.   
9 Understanding Maritime Connectivity in South Asia: The Role of Domestic and External Actors    , Md. Shariful Islam  
Why is it essential to have maritime connectivity in South Asia? How do domestic and external actors play a role to promote maritime cooperation between Bangladesh., India and Sri Lanka? This article pursues answer to these questions. It argues that there is growing maritime challenges in the South Asian region. Additionally 90 percent of South Asian trade depends on the sea. Hence, maritime trade contributes significantly to the South Asian economy and development. Consequently, securing the maritime area of the region is of paramount interest in South Asia. Additionally, there are vast untapped maritime resources that need to explored and exploited. For this South Asian maritime connectivity will be imperative enough. The article argues that the role of the domestic and external actors in building maritime connectivity in South Asia needs to be taken into consideration seriously for successful maritime connectivity in the region.     
10 Islamic Identity Formation, Madrasas, and Muslims in Sri Lanka , A.R.M. Imtiyaz A.R.M. Imtiyaz
Sri Lankan Muslims form a small (less than 10% of the population) but peaceful community within Sri Lanka’s ethnopolitical landscape. However, the rise of intolerance against the non-mainstream schools of thought, such as Sufism, and violent movements among Muslims as a defensive mechanism during the Sri Lanka government’s war against the Tamil Tigers and after the war in 2009, mainly against Sinhala-Buddhist targets, radically questioned the peaceful nature of Sri Lankan Muslims. This paper attempts to provide some notes on (a) Sri Lanka Muslim elites’ quest for identity formation by intensely resorting to the Islamic faith and values and rejecting the Tamilian identity among Muslims whose mother is mainly Tamil, and (b) the growth of Islamic seminaries among Sri Lankan Muslims or ‘Moors’ as a result of the elites’ construction of Islamic identity for Sri Lankan Muslims. The paper uses both primary and secondary sources to understand the complex ethnoreligious development among Muslims. Apart from a literature review, interviews of former Madrasa students through zoom between October and November 2020 provided inside perspectives about the goals and global views of Madrasas.
11 The Making of Contemporary Maldives: Isolation, Dictatorship and Democracy , Azra Naseem Azra Naseem
The Maldives, South Asian smallest nation, adopted democracy in 2008. The years has been seen the country  hurtle from one political crisis to another, including the premature end to its first democratic government; an authoritarian reversal; and a tentative return to democracy.   This article examines the type of society which has produces and, has been produced by, such political upheaval; and it reviews the role that region has played in shaping contemporary Maldivian society and politics. It asserts that the island nation’s geography, its isolation and long history of authoritarian rule and the long-term pursuit of centralized and unequal development policies has engendered a society increasingly torn between strengthening democracy and ‘defending [salafi] Islam’ the only religion its democratic Constitution allows. As the Indo-Pacific region becomes central to international geopolitics, and the geographical location of the Maldives becomes important to regional and global security strategies, this commentary provides an introduction to the factors and actors at play in contemporary Maldivian society.
12 Rohingya Refugee Crisis: Toward a Sustainable Solution , Moinul Islam & Jannatul Ferdous
This study aims at finding a sustainable solution to the decades long Rohingya crisis. Since the second world war, the Myanmar military (Tatmadaw) and the extremist groups of people have been trying to evict the Rohingyas from the place they have been living from ancient times. The world has witnessed such crisis in many parts of the world. For the Rohingyas, suffering for over half a century, there have been efforts to find a permanent solution in light of the events and experiences at other places. However, traditional methods have proven ineffective in giving a community of more than one million people any opportunity to live with a national identity, a sense of dignity, and self-esteem. Several established mechanisms in operation in preserving human rights where states fail to protect its citizens have been futile. Meanwhile, those engaged in the study of the phenomenon consider various ways of resolving the crisis – sheltering the displaced people, acting on bilateral discussions between the parties, repatriation and rehabilitation, etc. This article, considering various issues, attempts at suggesting a permanent and viable solution by analyzing whether or not humanitarian intervention through the implementation of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and Protected Return to Protected Homeland (PR2PH), the UN approved Independent Referendum in Myanmar could put an end to the crisis. The findings of the research are expected to present a sustainable solution to the Rohingya people, which would give them the power to decide their fate and help them to be self-dependent, dignified, freed and protected.
13 Protests in Hybrid Regime: The Shahbag and Road Safety Movement in Bangladesh , Fahmida Zaman
Following the third wave of democracy, several countries got stuck in their transition to full-fledged democracy. These countries have been labeled, among others, as hybrid regimes. Hybrid regimes are neither fully democratic nor entirely autocratic, thus incorporate elements of both democratic and authoritarian systems and these present valuable research questions for political scientists. One avenue for research is legitimization and protests movements in a hybrid political environment. This paper explores how hybrid regimes respond to protests movements and the relationship between protest and legitimacy. Can protest movements provide an opportunity for these regimes to seek legitimacy? Protests movements in Bangladesh between 2013 and 2018 are examined. Two arguments are presented: first hybrid regimes adopt different strategies of responses co-optation or repression depending on a) the nature of the movements, whether the movement is pro or anti-government and b) the level of competition from the opposition; and second protests can provide political opportunities for hybrid regimes to utilize identity- or repression-based legitimacy. By analyzing the question of domestic legitimacy and the relationship between protests and legitimacy in hybrid regimes, this articles aims to provide insights into the mechanism that hybrid regimes use to consolidate their power.
14 Commentary: India’s Engagement with the Neighborhood Through the Pandemic Phase , Sreeradha Datta
Indian’s engagement with other South Asian states is inevitable and essentials. Despite the interdependence growing albeit slowly in the region, India and its South Asian neighbors view each other through gauze of misgivings, suspicion and mistrust. Despite the continued bilateral engagement with its neighbours, it is apparent that despite al the incentives, advantages and attractions, economic cooperation does not appear to be the fulcrum that could optimize the opportunities that India and the region offer. Progress n the political front is imperative for the region to progress , and India and its South Asian neighbours all need to work this through.
15 Local Alignments and Global Politics: Military Bureaucratic Axis, Subaltern Protests and Political Reversals in Post-Colonial Pakistan , Subho Basu
In the Cold War environment of the 1950s, Pakistan army sought an alliance with the United States and the United Kingdom while they searched for allies in the Middle East and South Asia. At the same time, the military-bureaucratic establishment of Pakistan denied a democratic constitutional regime in the country and slowly transformed East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, into an internal colony. In East Pakistan, the pro-democracy movement was headed by Awami League (AL), a board coalition of constitutional autonomist and radical socialists and communist. Within the AL, Maulana Bhashani, a radical cleric, and his left wigs followers read into the global politics of Cold War alignment between the Pakistan and the USA to be a critical hindrance toward the democratization of politely, but constitutional autonomists within AL remained committed toward the Cold War military alliance.  This lead to a split in the AL Consequently, In the wake of Suez War, global politics impinged upon local political alignment as much as local political alignment informed and influenced global politics in Pakistan.
16 Effects of Remittances on Health Expenditure and Treatment Cost of International Migrant Households in Bangladesh , Mohammad Mainul Islam, Sayema Haque Bidisha, Israt Jahan, Md. Biplob Hossain and Tanveer Mahmood
The Bangladesh economy is characterized by remarkable progress in international migration, resulting in a considerable inflow of remittance. Although many studies have attempted to study the effect of foreign remittances on household expenditure patterns, no effort has been made to critically analyze the effects and implications of migration and remittance flow on migrant households’ health expenditure. This article attempts to explore the effect of remittance on the health expenditure of remittance recipient households (RRHs) and the impact of the cost of treatment. Descriptive and regression analyses and standard micro-econometric techniques were applied by analyzing the nationally representative household data set of the Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2010  of Bangladesh. Results show that RRHs are more likely to spend more on health matters and more likely to have higher treatment costs than non-recipient households. Thus, remittances are significantly associated with health expenditure and the cost of treatment. International migration seems to be a household strategy characterized by a high expected return.
17 Future of Japan-South Asia Renewed Relationship in Emerging Chinese Influence , Abdullah-Al-Mamun, Shiblee Noman, Samimuzzaman, Shamsunnahar
The Abe administration has redefined Japan’s relationship with the South Asian countries for economic and geo-strategic interests and introduced country-specific strategies for success. However, Chinese influence in the region is increasing. On the other hand, Japan’s South Asia policy is India focused, and mainly to counter China, regionally and globally.  Reintegration of Quad is another step towards the objective.  Most of the existing literature evaluates the current South Asian geo-economic and geopolitical dynamics from a narrow angle of China or Japan while looking into the combined perspectives of Japan and China in South Asia remains outside their purview. This qualitative study examines the prospect of the renewed Japan-South Asia relations in emerging Chinese influence. By analyzing very recent data, this research finds Japan’s engagement in the South Asian region higher than in the past. The Chinese investment in the region has increased significantly and its influence is intensifying. This research reveals that the positive image of Japan as a trusted friend and the character of its services and quality of its products are helping Japan strengthen its renewed relationship with the South Asian countries. The research concludes that South Asian countries are seemingly dividing into two blocs, not yet clearly visible, but clears signs of a Japan-India alignment vis-a-vis China are there.
18 One Step Forward or One Step Back? Explaining the Performance Paradox in the Civil Service of Bangladesh , Asif M Shahan
In Bangladesh, two contrasting scenarios regarding the responsiveness of the bureaucrats working at the field level are present. Whereas some bureaucrats reach out to the people and respond to their demands, others remain unresponsive and unapproachable. So, why do the bureaucrats working at the grassroots, while performing under the same rules, same institutional context and reality, perform in two different ways while interacting with citizens? How can these two contradictory sets of understanding regarding bureaucratic responsiveness coexist in Bangladesh? This article attempts to unpack this puzzle by relying on a slightly modified version of historical institutionalism. Building on Bell’s model of ‘agent-centric institutional change’ and by using a modified version of Mahoney & Thelen’s framework of institutional change, it argues that dialectical interaction between agents (bureaucrats) and institutions (i.e., rules- both formal and informal, norms that affect the behavior of the agents) within the broader political setting can best explain the variation in behavioral pattern of the bureaucrats. The political context allows agents to exercise discretion in a specific manner in executing their roles and functions while being constrained by institutional rules and norms. The dialectical interaction between structure (political context), agent, and institution determines the current administrative reality, which has allowed the contradiction to emerge and sustain.
19 COMMENTARY: ‘Global Britain’: G7, COP26, Indo-Pacific and the Commonwealth , Samir Saran
Samir Saran