Launching Ceremony of the Report on State of Democracy in South Asia


Event Name : Recent Events

Date : 27 January, 2008- ,

Description :

The Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) hosted the launching ceremony of the report on State of Democracy in South Asia. The report has been published by the Oxford University Press and was launched on Sunday, 27 January 2008 at the BEI Conference Room (House 20, Road 5, Gulshan-1, Dhaka).

Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, Adviser, Ministries of Education and Commerce, Government of Bangladesh graced the occasion as the Chief Guest on .

Professor Rehman Sobhan, Chairman, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), and Professor Rownak Jahan were present as Special Guests.

Dr. Imtiaz Ahmed, Professor, Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka and Country Coordinator of Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) introduced the report as the keynote speaker.

Regional experts, Heads of Foreign Missions, Academics, representatives of the private sector, civil society and media attended the launching ceremony of the report.

Brief Description of the Report on STATE OF DEMOCRACY IN SOUTH ASIA

This report seeks to shift the locus of discourse on democracy away from the global North to ‘most of the world’. It does so by examining democratic experience in South Asia – a region marked by poverty, illiteracy, complex diversities, and multiple and overlapping structures of social hierarchy – and by daring to ask not just what democracy has done to South Asia but also what South Asia has done to democracy. Based on the first-ever scientific survey of political opinions and attitudes across the five countries of the region – Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka – the report offers a fresh analysis of democracy for the ordinary people, its institutional slippages, obstacles in its functioning, and its mixed outcomes. The report combines public opinion data with expert assessment, case studies, and dialogue with democracy activists to come up with some big ideas, such as:

  • South Asians have transformed the idea of democracy by infusing it with new meanings
  • The experience of democracy in this region defies conventional notions of preconditions and outcomes of democracy
  • Deviation from the received model of democracy is often a source of strength
  • Politics is still vibrant and invites a high degree of interest and involvement
  • Political experience matters more than inherited identities like religion and ethnicity in shaping peoples’ orientations to democracy

Written in a non-technical language and laced with attractive graphics, this report will be a valuable resource for political scientists, policy planners, administrators, activists, NGOs, and the interested general reader. It will also be of interest to students and scholars of politics.

Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), located in Delhi, is one of the premier social science research institutes in Asia. Established in 1963, the Centre is widely recognized today, nationally and internationally, for its empirically grounded yet theoretically oriented interventions on thinking about democracy. The multi-country project that culminated in this report had its headquarters at Lokniti, a research programme of the Centre.

For further information, please contact Ambassador Shafiullah, Senior Research Fellow, BEI.

Posted Date : 3 March, 2012