Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh

The making of a strongman regime

Authored by: Arild Engelsen Ruud

Routledge Handbook of Autocratization in South Asia

Print publication date:  December  2021
Online publication date:  December  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367486747
eBook ISBN: 9781003042211
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter suggests analysing the making of the current regime in Bangladesh through the lens of the concept strongman regime. The chapter first briefly discusses the need to focus attention on the process of the making of an authoritarian regime. Drawing on the case of Bangladesh, three features in particular have been important in this regime-making: bridging gaps to other loci of authority and power, the establishment of a nationalistic cult that legitimises continued rule, and laws that permit the mutual protection of the central actors of the regime. The making of these features show the political acumen and prowess of the prime minister herself. The weakness of the regime – of a strongman regime – is its dependence on that one leader.

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