Contents: Preface. 1. Introduction. 2. The national identity: religion versus culture. 3. Election politics: the legitimacy debate. 4. Faltering democracy: the teething problems. 5. The minorities: Hindus and Chakmas. 6. Indo-Bangladesh relations: impediments for improvement. 7. Prognosis. Bibliography. Index.
"The decade long democratic experiment in Bangladesh has its ups and downs. The transparent electoral process administered through a neutral caretaker government and the smooth transfer of power have not improved internal instability and political maturity. Without ignoring the democratic accomplishments since 1991, "Bangladesh: A Fragile Democracy" seeks to highlight the turbulence sweeping through this new nation. The book argues that the highly personalised nature of Bangladesh politics and the personal animosity between Begum Khaleda and Sheikh Hasina have weakened the democratization process. Moreover, the resurgence of Islam as the primordial identity of Bangladesh and the wave of violence against minorities as well as the rise of religious extremism, pose a serious challenge to the consolidation of democracy in Bangladesh." (jacket)