Armed Force

Democratization in Bangladesh: An Analysis of Bangladesh Armed Force’s Non-intervention in Politics Influenced by the Participation in United Nations Peace Keeping Operation

Bangladesh Armed Force (BAF) is actively participating in the United Nations Peace Keeping Operation (UNPKO) since 1988. The growing involvement of Bangladeshi peacekeepers is tantamount to its new orientation with the functioning of generic constitutional process. The democratic governance in Bangladesh is also uninterruptedly in place since the popular uprising in 1990. Considering the close proximity of these two facts the article has assessed whether there is any reciprocity in the context of BAF’s nonintervention in Bangladeshi politics and its participation in UNPKO since the 90s. The article has attempted to answer whether one is contributing to the sustenance of the other. The very interdependency between the BAF’s participation in UNPKO and BAF’s nonintervention in the democratic system in Bangladesh has become a political reality. In 2007 BAF was about to intervene the regular democratic political system. Evidence shows that it was the pressure of abandoning BAF from UNPKO has deterred them to become directly involved in politics. Due to the nature of activities in the UNPKO, BAF has been informed with human security approach. In the process BAF has to work closely with the civil administration and local government. The article has explained whether such involvement is instrumental to reduce the gap of the BAF’s understanding about the functioning of civilian and political institutions. The article has also underscored the impact from individual level human security orientation to the BAF’s institutional approach towards the political government. To understand such dynamics the author has conducted a qualitative analysis using mainly the available secondary literatures. The present article is an endeavor to understand the sustenance of Bangladeshi democracy in the context of new civil-military relationship due to UNPKO.
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