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Good Governance in Bangladesh

  • Date Submitted: 02/23/2011 11:33 AM
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ON GOOD GOVERNANCE
Abul Maal A. Muhith ABSTRACT Governance is now a central issue in the development dialogue. It is being increasingly recognized that good governance requires several core ingredients: the rule of law, strengthening of public sector management, transparency and accountability, and appropriate strategies to combat corruption. This paper begins by tracing, from a historical perspective, the events and circumstances leading to the current state of governance in Bangladesh. Next it addresses two major dimensions of governance—political and economic— highlighting the sources that contribute to the current and deteriorating state of governance in the country. Finally the paper delves into the possible remedies to alleviate the crisis-like conditions that have had deleterious effects on the lives of the citizenry. In formulating the remedies, the paper focuses on the devolution of state functions to the district level and restructuring the government and bureaucracy with a view to empowering the people. In particular, three issues are dealt with in great depth: suppressing terrorism and establishing the rule of law, making the parliament effective, and controlling corruption. Introduction I find the definition of governance provided by the Commission on Global Governance in 1995 as a very acceptable proposition: “Governance is the sum of the many ways individuals and institutions, public and private, manage their common affairs. It is a continuing process through which conflicting or diverse interests may be accommodated and cooperative action may be taken. It includes formal institutions and regimes empowered to enforce compliance as well as informal arrangements that people and institutions either have agreed to or perceive to be in their interest.”1 Academic consideration of governance issues may be a little different from the raging subject of governance in development dialogue at least since the end of the cold war. Academic discussion is about...

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