Topics: Democracy, Government, Representative democracy Pages: 29 (9465 words) Published: December 26, 2012
Democracy in Bangladesh: Problems & Prospects
M.M. Awal Hossain Lecturer Public Administration Rajshahi University Rajshahi-6205 Bangladesh Email:

Abstract Democracy is a continuous political process, which can only be sustained and developed by giving due attention to certain issues. Though Bangladesh has passed 34 years of its independence, it has failed to establish democracy as an institution. First of all I have discussed the conceptual framework of democracy. The main aim of this paper is to identify what are barriers to institutionalization of democracy in Bangladesh. Then I have recommend policy measures for overcoming these problems. Lastly, I have also discussed in briefly the prospects of Democracy in Bangladesh. The paper is based on secondary sources of information like books, journals, research reports and newspapers. Relevant literature has also collected through Internet browsing. Key Word: Democracy & Bangladesh Introduction We have passed about thirty-four years since independence but our achievements in the spheres of democracy and development are not noteworthy. In Bangladesh every political leader or party, civil or military, popular or unpopular, big or small, in or out of power, talk about democratic incessantly. Even so the nation has failed to put it into practice. Parties voted into power to strengthen democracy have all failed to encourage its values. Taking advantage of this situation, military leaders intervened to practice their own version of democracy, which only exacerbated the crisis. The country today is riddle with numerous problems threatening the very development of democracy. Our society with an under developed political culture and poverty ridden illiterate and incompetent masses is lacking democratic political organizations, institutions and practices. However, the prospects for a politically developed and economically prosperous nation is marked by people’s eagerness to democracy and progress, nations march toward a two party system and politicians realization that there is no way but election capture power.


Conceptual Analysis
Democracy: Meaning & Concept The term democracy is derived from the Greek words, demos and Kratos, the former meaning the people and the latter power. Democracy thus means power of the people. It is now regarded as a form of government in which the people rule themselves either directly, or indirectly through their representatives. Definition of democracy, as a form of government, are various, But like many other definitions in political science, they differ in their content and application (Kapur, 1993). Democracy, according to the Greeks, is the Government in which people rule over themselves. Aristotle considered it as a perverted form of government. Herodotus says, the democracy denotes that form of government in which in the ruling power of the state is largely vested in the members of the community as a whole. In the words of President Abraham Lincoln, it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people (Agarwal, 1991). According to Bryce, “Democracy is that form of government in which the ruling power of a state is legally vested, not in any particular class or classes but in the members of the community as a whole”. Prof. Seeley says, “Democracy is a government in which every body has a share.” According to Dicey, “Democracy is a form of government in which the governing body is a comparatively large function of the entire nation. One the other hand Gettell’s opinion, “Democracy is that form of government in which the mass of the population possesses the right to share in the exercise of sovereign power. Among the definitions of democracy given above, the definitions of Dicey, Bryce, Abraham Lincoln and Gettell are more important and popular. In brief, we can say that democracy is that form of government in which the sovereign power of the state is in the hands of the people and people are the...
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