POLITICAL CULTURE AND LIBERAL DEMOCRACY IN BANGLADESH
Keywords:POLITICAL CULTURE, LIBERAL DEMOCRACY
The interface of political culture and liberal democracy has not been thoroughly explored and problematised in the democracy debate in Bangladesh. This study attempts to trace compatibility of Bangladeshi political culture with liberal democracy. Liberal democracy is a form of government in which representative democracy operates under the principles of liberalism. While liberalism and democracy usually go together, they can be separated in theory. Political culture consists of people’s shared and learned beliefs about their political system and their role within that system. Bangladesh has its traditional form of political culture built on her own political, societal, ideological and economic structure, which is contrasting to such philosophy of liberal democracy as prescribed by the developed countries. Comparative study between the paradigms of political culture in Bangladesh and requirement of liberal democracy clearly indicates divergence amongst its values and practices. Ecological Context and Social Fragmentation of Bangladesh furnish weak social capital as it is in the process of transition, which is not supportive to deliberative democracy. Pervasive Social Nexus in Bangladesh subdue rule of law, rather sponsor violence and corruption, which turn into fragile social capital. Spectacle of power in Bangladesh not only limits individual liberty and equality but also contests the institutional features of liberal democracy. In Bangladesh the state is yet to be strong and cohesive and as such short of desired ability to enforce laws on its own territory. In the same note, the unorganised social groups in Bangladesh are not consistent and strong enough to impose adequate accountability on the state. Consequently, the elements of contemporary political power in Bangladesh do not support desired balance between state and society, which is the essential prerequisite for liberal democracy. At length the research outcome identifies that political culture in Bangladesh is extremely ideological at the cognitive level albeit the ideology of liberalism is extremely weak.
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