Bangladesh’s parliamentary elections in December 2008 witnessed a landslidevictory for an alliance led by Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League following two years of a caretaker government backed by the military. The country’s beleaguered population faced the twin challenges of natural disasters and pervasive poverty. One of the key factors influencing trust in the government of Bangladesh is stability, which has been in short supply because of confrontational politics between the two largest parties and accompanying violence. This paper considers efforts to rebuild trust by examining the work of a social movement, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), at two levels: strengthening the pillars of the national integrity system (with a specific focus on parliament), and holding public bodies to account for corrupt practice in delivering key services. People’s experiences of services delivered through schools, hospitals and local government have resulted in a complete collapse in trust in public bodies. Thecommitment of the democratically elected government to tackle corruption at all levels will be a key determinant of whether trust and stability can emerge from the volatility of Bangladesh’s politics.
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2009|
Bibliographical noteReference text: Alam, J. (2008) Hasina wins Bangladesh’s first election in 7 years, Associated Press, 30 December.
Alamgir, F., Mahmud, T. and Iftekharuzzman (2006) Corruption and parliamentary oversight: primacy of the political will. Conference paper, International Anti-Corruption Day, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 9 December.
Aminuzzaman, S. (2006) South Asia Report on National Integrity Systems (Karachi, Pakistan: Transparency International).
Bovens, M. and Wille, A. (2008) Deciphering the Dutch drop: ten explanations for decreasing political trust in the Netherlands, International Review of Administrative Sciences, 74(2), pp. 283–305.
BRAC University (2008) The State of Governance in Bangladesh 2007 (Dhaka, Bangladesh: Institute of Governance Studies).
Catterberg, G. and Moreno, A. (2005) The individual bases of political trust: trends in new and established democracies, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 18(1), pp. 31–48.
Chanley, V. A., Rudolph, T. J. and Rahn, W. M. (2000) The origins and consequences of public trust in government: a time series analysis, Public Opinion Quarterly, 64(2), pp. 239–256.
Government of Bangladesh (2004) The Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Article 15 (as modified up to 17 May).
Iftekharuzzman (2007) Fighting Corruption in Bangladesh: From One Myth to Another? (Dhaka, Bangladesh: Transparency International Bangladesh).
Kaufmann, D., Kraay, A. and Mastuzzi, M. (2008) Governance Matters VII: Worldwide Governance Indicators (Washington, DC: Wold Bank).
Kim, S. E. (2005) The role of trust in the modern administrative state: an integrative model, Administration and Society, 37(5), pp. 611–635.
Knox, C. (2009) Dealing with sectoral corruption in Bangladesh: developing citizen involvement, Public Administration and Development, 29(2), pp. 117–132.
Nye, J. S. (1997) Introduction: the decline of confidence in government, in J. S. Nye, P. D. Zelikow and D. C. King (Eds), Why People Don’t Trust Government (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), pp. 1–18.
Oxford Economics (2008) Bangladesh: Country Briefing (Oxford: Oxford University).
Pope, J. (2000) Confronting Corruption: The Elements of a National Integrity System. Transparency International Source Book (London and Berlin: Transparency International).
Rahaman, M. M. (2007) Origins and pitfalls of confrontational politics in Bangladesh, South Asian Survey, 14(1), pp. 101–115.
Swedish International Development Agency (2008) Bangladesh Reality Check Annual Report 2007 (Dhaka, Bangladesh: SIDA).
Sik, E. (2002) The bad, the worse and the worst: guesstimating the level of corruption, in S. Kotkin and A. Sajo´ (Eds), Political Corruption in Transition: A Skeptic’s Handbook (Budapest: Central European University Press), pp. 91–113.
Transparency International (2008) International Corruption Perceptions Index (Berlin: TI).
Transparency International Bangladesh (2008) National Household Survey on Corruption in Bangladesh (Dhaka, Bangladesh: TIB).
- Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB)
- National Integrity System