Distinguished Professor Dr. Ali Riaz has published a paper on the transformation of democratic practices in Bangladesh over three decades between 1990 and 2019. Using the political settlement framework, Riaz argues that a new settlement has emerged after the non-participatory election in 2014. Political settlement is an agreement among elites and other social forces regarding “distribution of benefits supported by its institutions consistent with the distribution of power in the society,” and is expected to ensure that the system would not unravel by conflict and violence.
In the paper titled “Three Decades of Bangladeshi Politics (1990-2019): The Emergence and Collapse of the Political Settlements,” Riaz insisted that the period in question is marked by the emergence and collapse of a political settlement among elites. He underscores that an exclusionary authoritarian settlement has emerged after 2014, characterized by a lack of inclusivity and the heightened role of coercive apparatuses. This breakdown was predicated by the nature of the settlement, its implications for the elites in the challenger coalition, and the degree of inclusivity of the dominant coalition. The exclusionary political settlement provides a semblance of stability for a limited period but fails to contain the tension in the long term, even when it delivers economic growth. The paper is published in the inaugural issue of the Journal of Governance, Security, and Development.