chapter  5
24 Pages

Bangladeshi civil society and Islamist politics

ByELORA SHEHABUDDIN

There has been a much-heralded revival of academic and popular interest in the term “civil society” following the transitions to democracy in Eastern Europe, the Philippines, and elsewhere in the final decades of the twentieth century, during what Samuel Huntington has called the “third wave of democratization.” 1 In its latest incarnation, the term has come to be associated closely with nongovernmental organizations or NGOs; thus, the proliferation of NGOs in Bangladesh in particular has often led automatically to assumptions regarding the richness of civil society in the country and often-unrealistic expectations regarding the advances in economic and political development that should follow.