Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 05/2010

Bombs and Ballots: Terrorism, Political Violence, and Governance in Bangladesh

Naureen Chowdhury Fink

February 2010

International Peace Institute


International initiatives to counter terrorism and militancy have more often than not been directed at the military aspects of such threats, with insufficient attention paid to the specific context—the social, political, and regional dynamics—in which they evolve. In Bangladesh, for example, the combination of development challenges, weak governance, violent politics, and regional tensions has proved a combustible mix. These have prompted fears that the state is growing increasingly fragile and that it may be unable to withstand the threats posed by terrorism and violent religious radicalization over the long term.