Political order in Middle Bangladesh: Structured subjectivities

Bangladesh’s political system has broadly been coined as ‘partyarchy’ (Hasan, 2006) or ‘party-state (democracy)’ (Suykens, 2017). This refers to a system where politics are dominated by a winner-takes-all mentality and the ruling party becomes the unrivalled centre of power by taking complete control over the government, to the extent that they become almost indistinguishable from each other. In the context of a larger research project on violence and public order in Bangladesh, this project looks at the specific processes of order making in secondary cities or what Klinken and Berenschot (2014) would call 'middle Bangladesh', going beyond the predominantly Dhaka based research. At the project's core stands the question: how are political subjectivities formed by and (re-)produce order in the local power structure of urban Bangladesh?  By examining the case of Rajshahi city, the project explores how these structural concepts (e.g. ‘partyarchy’, ‘party-state’) translate into local authority structures and order.

Funded by: Special Research Fund (BOF), Ghent University

Staff involved: Julian B. Kuttig (PhD candidate); Bert Suykens (supervisor)