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Ali Riaz’s new book examines elections in hybrid regimes

Ali Riaz

Distinguished Professor Ali Riaz

Distinguished Professor Ali Riaz has published a book on elections in hybrid regimes.

Book coverThe book, titled Voting in a Hybrid Regime: Explaining the 2018 Bangladeshi Election examines the mechanism of election manipulation in apparently democratic—but essentially authoritarian—systems called the hybrid regimes. Using the 2018 Bangladeshi parliamentary election as an example Riaz argues that leaders of the hybrid regime arrange elections which are participated by opposition political parties, but these state-managed elections only deliver victory to the incumbent.

In Bangladesh, the ruling Awami League secured a landslide victory in the election held on December 30. International media have described the election as “farcical.” As the world is witnessing democratic backslide and the emergence of various kinds of hybrid regimes in the past decades, the nature and trajectory of these regimes have received attention of political scientists. However, the extant hybrid regime literature seldom explores the strategies of engineered elections, a gap Riaz’s book fills in the gap.

The book provides incisive examination of Bangladesh’s political environment, rigorous scrutiny of the roles of state institutions including the law enforcing agencies, and meticulous analysis of election results. Riaz shows how the incumbent manufactured “a climate of fear” and “a mechanism of manipulation” by which the election day became a day of “fear, exclusion, and persecution come together.” As a result, election only delivered a victory for the regime which is “too big to believe.”

The book is published by Palgrave Macmillan.

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