ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Bangladesh’s Development Trajectory

The Odds Revisited: Political Economy of the Development of Bangladesh by K A S Murshid, Cambridge University Press, 2022; pp 240, `1,195.

The authors of one of the very first books on Bangladesh, published a few years after the countrys independence in 1971, which was titled Bangladesh: The Test Case for Development, wrote in the preface: If development could be made successful in Bangladesh, there can be little doubt that it could be made to succeed anywhere else. It is in this sense that Bangladesh is the test case for development (Just Faaland and J R Parkinson, 1976). Five decades of development experience of post-independence Bangladesh has proved the doubters wrong. Bangladesh has been able to attain remarkable success in terms of key socio-economic performance indicatorsthe country stands out among the developing world in areas of primary education and gender parity in education, womens empowerment, health and nutrition, population control and life expectancy, among others. It was only to be expected that at a time when Bangladesh was celebrating 50 years of her independence, scholars will venture to revisit Bangladeshs development narrative and try to demystify what is often called the Bangladesh Paradox. The Odds Revisited: Political Economy of the Development of Bangladesh, authored by one of the most eminent economists of the country, K A S Murshid, stands out among these works for several reasons.

In revisiting the odds that informed Bangladeshs post-independence journey, the author blends the panoramic view with the granular underlying drivers that allow the reader to get a good grip on the broad development trends which made Bangladesh the country it is today, and at the same time offering an indepth analysis of the meso- and micro-level policies and actions which contributed to this outcome. Drawing on his analysis of the countrys development experience, the author questions, contests and argues whether Bangladesh can rely on the past drivers for its next lap of journey and whether new policies, agents and agencies will need to be innovated to take the country forward.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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