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Title: A Study of Political Elites in Bangladesh 1947-1970.
Author: Sen, R.
ISNI:       0000 0000 2485 3703
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 1977
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The main part of this study is formed by an examination of one section of the Bengali Muslim political elites of United Pakistan from 1947 to 1970, comprising mainly the political leaders of the democratic-progressive opposition parties. It begins by questioning the validity of the views of Lucian W. Pye that the political processes of the predominantly agrarian societies have been especially marked by the following five important features: (a) the prevalence of various cliques or factions; (b) the tendency of the opposition parties and the aspiring elites to become revolutionary; (c) the high rate of recruitment of new elements to political roles; (d) the sharp difference in political orientations of the generations; and (e) the adoption of more clearly defined positions on international issues than on domestic issues by the political elites. This thesis argues that Pye's position needs to be qualified in the light of a more intensive ana1y·· sis of a situation in a particular agrarian society. This inquiry is, therefore, directed to four main sociological questions: (a) whether the elite conflict and cohesion, both on individual and organizational levels. are based on ideological and economic factors; (b) whether an almost wholesale replacement of one set of political elites by another may often occur through general elections because of a peculiar social structure and political conditions; (c) whether the radicalism in domestic matters could be a corollary to that in international issues; and (d) whether a distinction could be made between the social origins of the political elites and the class interests they serve. The methodological approach in this study is primarily historical-analytical, and the work has been divided into eleven chapters. On the basis of its empirical findings in the agrarian society of Bangladesh during the Pakistan period, this study suggests that the elite conflict and cohesion on both micro and macro levels are primarily based on ideological and economic factors which reflect in political issues and programmes. An almost wholesale replacement of one set of political elites by another may sometimes happen if the social structure is basically egalitarian in character and if there is a long absence of general elections as a result of the deliberate policy of the ruling elite. The political elite groups which adopt clear positions on international issues also need to adopt similarly clear stands on domestic issues such as regional autonomy; otherwise those who are less radical in international matters, but take a clear position on internal issues, may occupy the dominant position. In any case, the radicalism in the international situation has to be matched by that in domestic affairs. When the political elites come from almost similar social backgrounds, but adopt different ideologies, a distinction may be made between their social origins and the class interests they serve.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available