Readings this week

Xtra Desk

Reflections on Economy and Governance in Bangladesh


To the social scientists, Bangladesh is an enigma wrapped in paradoxes. She defied conventional prophets of gloom and doom during last three decades by making significant strides in social and economic spheres. Ironically, she is deeply divided politically despite bonds of extraordinary ethnic and linguistic homogeneity. The multiple dimensions of paradoxes of governance, economy and crucial sectors like finance and water are unwrapped in the twelve essays in this volume. While unraveling the Bangladesh conundrum, this inter-disciplinary study uncovers a number of new contradictions. It furnishes evidence in support of stimulating new hypotheses such as ‘Friendly fire’ (the harmful effects of benevolent measures taken by the Government), ‘Humpty Dumpy disorder’ (where old institutions are beyond repair), ‘legal system as slot machines’ (where an alien judicial system encourages frauds and forgeries) and odd mixture of opposites like cosmetic ethical banks and commercial micro credit. It also provides copious recommendations on governance, economic and financial reforms for policymakers in the country. Though the findings are based on the experience of Bangladesh, the issues raised in this book are common to most developing countries. While considering the options for reforms, it took into account cross-country evidence. It provides valuable insight into development process. It is a must read for policymakers, scholars and students in the fields of public policy, economic development, political science and sociology.

Akbar Ali Khan (1944-) the author, studied History in Dhaka University and Economics in Queens University, Canada (MA and PhD). Dr. Khan had been a career civil servant since 1967, actively participated in the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971 and was sentenced in absentia by military rulers to fourteen years’ rigorous imprisonment. He served in highest positions in the Government for about ten years and retired as Cabinet Secretary. He also held the position of Alternate Executive Director in World Bank. After retirement, he established the Center for Governance Studies in BI4AC University as its first Director. He was an Advisor in the Caretaker Government (2006-07) and subsequently resigned.

friendly flies


Title- Friendly Fires, Humpty Dumpty Disorder, and Other Essays: Reflections on Economy and Governance in Bangladesh

Author– Akbar Ali Khan

ISBN– 978 984 881 509 0

Price– 590.00 BDT






The Plight of the Stateless Rohingyas

In tracing the plight of the Rohingya refugees, the study here shows that the Rohingya refugee problem was created in the course of several historical trajectories. It has been demonstrated that the Rohingyas are both stateless and refugees. First, they became stateless in their homeland and eventually had to embrace the status of refugeehood under threats of persecution, discrimination and torture. The Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh have remained stateless. The causes to their refugeehood can be categorised as primary factors (as enumerated in the 1951 Convention), secondary factors (as identified in the 1969 OAU Convention) and auxiliary factors (such as economic, ecological and demographic change). The denial of citizenship rights, denial of freedom of movement, eviction campaigns, forced labour, expulsion from their lands and property, violence and physical torture contributed to the statelessness and refugeehood of Rhingyas. Refugees face multi-pronged psycho-social and human security threats. Four major dimensions of security have been identified in this study; politico-military, economic, social and environmental. While primary responsibility for refugee security rests with the host government, it has been repeatedly stressed that a multiplicity of actors share this responsibility-refugees themselves, local populations, country of origin, host country, donor states, regional organisations, the UNHCR and its operational partners. For a resolution of the problems faced by the stateless Rohingya refugees, a multi-faceted approach is required. It is important to materialise a collaborative effort between the government and civil society to contain the social and economic impact of protracted refugee situation. The international community needs to approach this issue in the context of broader development agenda and international law. The commitment of all stakeholders, including the government, humanitarian agencies, local communities and donors, is required. Cooperative and combined effort can assist to participate to the fullest extent possible in their life in Bangladesh and following their return in Myanmar.

Imtiaz Ahmed is Professor of International Relations at the University of Dhaka. He was educated at University of Dhaka, Carlton University, Ottawa, and Australian National University, Canberra. He is the author/co-author of several books and monographs. More than ninety of his scholarly articles have been published in various books and journals.

The Plight of the Stateless Rohingyas



Title- The Plight of the Stateless Rohingyas: Responses of the State, Society & the Internatioanal Community

Author– Edited by Imtiaz Ahmed

ISBN– 978 984 506 015 8

Price– 500 BDT


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *