Distinguished Professor Dr. Ali Riaz has presented a paper and participated in a roundtable at the International Studies Association Convention 2022.
Riaz’s paper is titled “The Twists and Turns of Islamist Militancy in Bangladesh.” It examines various stands of violent Islamist groups in Bangladesh since the 1980s and provides a taxonomy of these organizations. His paper argues that Bangladeshi Islamist militants have undergone ‘five generations’ considering their ideological orientations and external connections. Riaz argues that although the spectacular attack on a café on July 1, 2016 catapulted Bangladesh into international media, various militant groups have been gathering strength for a long time.
The roundtable “The Politics of the Covid-19 Pandemic in South Asia” examines the impacts of COVID-19 on the geopolitics in South Asia. Riaz, in his presentation, showed that growing influence of China in that region has placed Bangladesh in the midst of a ‘vaccine diplomacy’ and a contestation between China and India. Although a close relationship with the Bangladesh government provided India an upper hand at the early stage in 2020, its failure to deliver the vaccines created the opportunity for China to step up. Riaz also shed light on the future implications of this contestation.