Power and influence of islam-based political parties in Bangladesh: perception versus reality
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
© 2013 SAGE Publications Ltd
MetadataShow full item record
CitationJahan, F., & Shahan, A. M. (2014). Power and influence of islam-based political parties in bangladesh: Perception versus reality. Journal of Asian and African Studies, 49(4), 426-441. doi:10.1177/0021909613488350
Bangladesh has received scholarly attention about the extent and nature of Islamism in the political domain. We argue that, to analyze the significance of religion in the political process, it is essential to consider the role of religion in both influencing the policy and electoral outcome. Based on an in-depth qualitative study during the most recent election of 2008, we review previous elections results and the policy influence of religion-based parties; we argue that, in Bangladesh, Islamic parties' policy influence is very high and electoral success is very low. A deeply entrenched civil religion in the form of nationalistic identity bars religion from playing a significant role in influencing the voting behavior of the citizens. The mainstream political parties have so far failed to recognize the significance of this civil religion.