Democratic Transition in Bangladesh: Challenges Towards Consolidated Democracy

The past decades have witnessed the most remarkable development toward democracy which is often referred to as the ‘Third Wave’. In fact, the literature on democracy in terms of ‘transition theory’ provides various analytical frameworks for a comparative study of regime transformations identifying variables to explain outcomes. Transition is therefore very critical for the democratic process although its subsequent consolidation often remains complicated and incomplete in most countries of Asia and Africa. In 1974, all thirty-nine democracies in the world were ranked as ‘Free States’ by the Freedom House Index, whereas the number rose to 117 by 2003, and only 88 qualified as free. However, during the later period of the third wave in the 1990s, the world witnessed the explosion of so-called “hybrid regimes”, meaning states that fulfill the minimal conditions of electoral democracy. Most of these democracies are not as a consequence of the demand of an enlightened group of citizens, rather different domestic vested groups of socio-political actors dominated the transition of democracy here.  In addition, these forces do not always have equal weight in terms of the amount of influence that they exert upon a regime toward or away from a democratic order.

Authors: Rashid, Md. Harun Or
Type: Working Paper
Year: 2013