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Bangladesh Military: Political Institutionalization and Economic Development

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As Bangladesh completes 18 years of freedom it will also complete almost 14 years of military government or governments dominated by the military. This chapter examines the praetorian regimes of late President Ziaur Rahman (1975-81 ) and President Hussain Muhammad Ershad (since 1982) who took over the reign of government soon after the assassination of President Zia. Although both leaders used a similar approach their strategies and tactics were different. Zia sought initial support from the military/civilian bureaucracy but dealt harshly with military uprisings during this regime and later reduced resource allocation to the military/civilian bureaucracy channeling more resources to the business groups and rural areas. Ershad on the other hand continues to maintain the support of the military/civilian bureaucracy by providing them with more resources while at the same time seeking rural support. Neither has gained legitimacy although Ziaur Rahman came closer to attaining it.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Political Science, Juniata College; 2: Department of Public Administration, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, U.S.A.


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