Social and Psychological Sources of Power in Bangladesh

Topics: Bangladesh, Peacekeeping, Sheikh Hasina Pages: 5 (1788 words) Published: November 20, 2011
To begin with, states are critical actors in international relations because they have power, which is the ability not only to influence others but to control outcomes of various events in a way that would not have occurred naturally. States have power vis-à-vis each other and with respect to those within the state. Yet power itself is a multidimensional relationship; there are different kinds of power. The outcome of the power relationship-whether and to what extent power is used or abused-is determined, in part, by the power potential of each of the parties involved. Power is thus the means by which international actors like states deal with each other. There are two basic classifications of power in the studies of international relations. * Tangible sources

* Intangible sources
Among tangible sources, there are natural sources like geographic opportunity, natural resources, population size and synthetic sources like military power and industrial capability. Social and psychological sources of power fall into the category of intangible sources of national/state power. Bangladesh, formerly known as East Pakistan, gained its independence from West Pakistan in 1971 after a nine month long liberation war. Bangladesh was admitted to the United Nations in 1974. Like all other independent and sovereign states, it has national power with tangible and intangible sources. In this discussion, we will probe a bit deep into the social and psychological sources of power of Bangladesh.

Social and Psychological Sources of Power in Bangladesh:
Social and psychological sources of Bangladesh could be as important as the other sources of power. Basically, what we understand from this term is that the deep and core values of the people of a country are called ‘social and psychological sources’ of the national power. In that regard, Bangladesh has social and psychological powers just like any other country member of the UN. There are some components of this kind of power such as: * national self-image

* Images of others
* public support and cohesion
* leadership quality
National Self-image:
People within Bangladesh have images of their state’s power potential-images that translate into an intangible power ingredient. National self-image contributes acutely to the concept of rightful national role in the international affairs. From history, we come to know that the terms such as “White Man’s Burden”, “Manifest Destiny” and “World Policeman” are associated with the national image of USA. But Bangladeshi people have no such nosy national or international self-image. Bangladesh is a developing peaceful nation. She has a lot of poor people to feed from her poor economy. Therefore, she does not meddle in other nation’s internal affairs like some superpowers like USA, Soviet Union, UK etc. Also, Bangladeshi people consider themselves as peace-loving and friendly to others. Being internationally responsible and eager to participate in multilateral peacekeeping missions is an important part of social and psychological sources of power of Bangladeshi self-image.

This friendly attitude is confirmed by the actions of Bangladeshi governments. Nearly 10,000 Bangladeshi military personnel are deployed overseas on peacekeeping operations, making it a large contributor to the UN peacekeeping forces. Under UN auspices, Bangladeshi troops have served or are serving in Somalia, Rwanda, Mozambique, Kuwait, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Haiti, and units are currently serving in Kuwait and East Timor. Bangladesh responded quickly to U.S. President Bill Clinton's 1994 request for troops and police for the multinational force for Haiti and provided the largest non-U.S. contingent. As of June 2008, Bangladesh is the second largest provider of UN peacekeepers. National history is also a very important part of any nation’s self-image. Bangladesh has a proud history of struggle against oppressors. Bangladeshi people fought bravely against...
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