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Über dieses Buch

Analyzing Bangladesh's governance problems and drawing insights that will be relevant to other developing countries, this book sharpens our understanding of governance and suggests political and administrative reforms to improve governance and facilitate faster development.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Objectives, Concepts, and Overview

Abstract
Governance is now widely recognized as a crucial determinant of development. Looking around the world, it is easy to see how lack of good governance is hindering development in many countries. However, achieving good governance is not easy. The development literature generally stops at pointing to governance as a determinant of development and does not take the next step of discussing how good governance can be achieved. This book extends the general analytical discussion of governance and its relationship with development and takes into account the international experience in order to suggest several concrete reform proposals about how governance can be improved in Bangladesh.
S. Nazrul Islam

Chapter 2. Bangladesh Politics: A Brief History

Abstract
This chapter provides a brief history of Bangladesh politics with the purpose of setting the stage for discussion in the following chapters of the book. It presents mostly a chronological account of the political developments, beginning with the Bangabandhu (Sheikh Mujibur Rahman) years of 1972–1975 (Section 2.2), followed by the General Zia period (Section 2.3), in turn followed by the General Ershad regime (Section 2.4). Next, the chapter discusses the civilian governments formed under caretaker governments (CTG) after 1991 (Section 2.5). The civilian government process, however, ran aground in 2006, creating the scope for the military to intervene again. The result was the interlude in the form of a military-backed government, generally known as the 1/11 government (because of the takeover on January 11, 2007) of 2007–2008 (Section 2.6).
S. Nazrul Islam

Chapter 3. Salient Features of Bangladesh Politics

Abstract
The history of Bangladesh politics, presented in Chapter 2, reveals its salient features. Among these are: instability, violence, neglect of the parliament, dependence on street agitation, commercialization, and criminalization. This chapter discusses these features and explains their causes and interrelationships, while searching for approaches to improve Bangladesh politics.
S. Nazrul Islam

Chapter 4. Approaches to Improving Bangladesh Politics

Abstract
The unsatisfactory state of Bangladesh politics has led to many suggestions aimed at improving it. These suggestions reflect different approaches to the problem. This chapter provides a review of these approaches and points to their respective strengths and weaknesses. In order to ascertain which of these approaches can be more effective, it is first necessary to have an understanding about the root cause of problems of democracy in Bangladesh.
S. Nazrul Islam

Chapter 5. Proportional Election as a Way to Stabilize Democracy in Bangladesh

Abstract
An important political reform idea, inspired by the institutional approach, is to switch to “Proportional Election” (PE). Contrary to the general view in Bangladesh, PE is widely practiced across the world. Given Bangladesh’s particular circumstances, PE could be of considerable help in stabilizing democracy. This chapter examines the merits and demerits of this proposal.1
S. Nazrul Islam

Chapter 6. Reduction of the Government Term for Stable Democracy

Abstract
The institutional approach has given rise to another idea aimed at improving Bangladesh politics: shorten the government term. A shortened term may improve Bangladesh politics by, in particular, undercutting the rationale of the demand for midterm elections and thus reducing the incidence, intensity, and scope of hartals (General Strike), blockades (of highways, railways, and waterways, etc.), and other forms of disruptive and violent street agitation that the Opposition generally uses to press this demand.
S. Nazrul Islam

Chapter 7. Governance and Civil Service in Bangladesh

Abstract
While the previous chapters of the book focused on the political side of governance, the remaining chapters focus on the administrative side, represented by the civil service, which bears the main responsibility of implementing the decisions taken by the political leadership. The civil service also assists the political leadership to reach the decisions. Efficient governance depends on the quality of both the political leadership and the civil service and healthy interaction between the two. Unfortunately, as is the case with the political side, the civil service in Bangladesh too is afflicted with many problems, which need to be addressed. This chapter discusses the state of Bangladesh civil service, identifies the major problems, and points to some necessary reforms.1
S. Nazrul Islam

Chapter 8. Salary Rationalization as Key to Effective Civil Administration

Abstract
Efficient functioning of the civil service depends on the quality of people that this service can recruit and the dedication and effort that the recruits put in their work. However, the public or civil service does not exist in vacuum.1 It has to compete and operate in the same labor market as the private sector does. Hence the equilibrium in the public service labor market depends on the wages in the private sector. In such a situation, rigidity of government salaries can lead to multiple equilibria, which may be classified broadly into two types: “Good Equilibrium (GE)” and “Bad Equilibrium (BE).” GE is generally associated with “rational” salaries and is characterized by a “virtuous cycle,” whereby civil service gets good entrants, who work hard and sincerely. This leads to better economic growth and more government revenues, which help to pay the rational salaries and thus sustain the good equilibrium. BE, on the other hand, is generally associated with “irrational” salaries and is characterized by a “vicious cycle,” whereby government service gets bad-quality entrants, who do not work hard and sincerely. This depresses economic growth, lowers government revenues and thus makes irrational salaries the only ones that can be paid, thereby perpetuating BE. It seems that Bangladesh has fallen into and remains stuck to BE. This chapter discusses the nature of BE and shows how salary reform can help Bangladesh switch to GE.2
S. Nazrul Islam

Chapter 9. Prospects of Reforms

Abstract
The previous chapters of the book analyzed Bangladesh’s governance problems in the light of the international experience, and proposed several political and administrative reforms for overcoming these problems. This, last, chapter discusses the prospects of these reforms of getting adopted and implemented.
S. Nazrul Islam

Backmatter

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