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Title: Intelligence agencies and the evolution of the state in South Asia : from East Pakistan to Bangladesh, 1947-2008
Author: Chowdhury, M. H.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2010
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This is the first scholarly work in the Western academy to document from primary intelligence sources hitherto unavailable the use of intelligence agencies by states taking over from the Raj and involves a study of the contemporary secret service communities of Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. Intelligence agencies have actually played a significant role in the subcontinent in forming new states, in sustaining weak states, and in Bangladesh’s case, strengthening states born from secession. The evolution of the state from East Pakistan to contemporary Bangladesh is part of a much wider picture of how national intelligence machinery equally evolved, to be used and abused by governments in the course of nation building in weak and incomplete post-colonial states conforming to a Westphalian system. The first account of the role of intelligence agencies in East Pakistan confirms that the continuous denial of Bengali agency in the Pakistan enterprise and recourse to intrigue, coercion and force led to the break-up of Pakistan and the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent state in 1971. The study supports the view that intelligence operations in South Asia have been dominated by covert action, counter-insurgency and clandestine wars, identifiable in Indian intelligence support to the Bangladesh independence movement and later in their sponsoring the insurgency in Bangladesh’s Chittagong Hill Tracts. With the very first literature on Bangladesh’s intelligence community and its role in the evolution of the state from post-revolution anarchy to parliamentary politics the research follows the Mujib phase, through the military-bureaucratic period of the Zia and Ershad regimes, and concludes with the era of democracy in contemporary Bangladesh. Bangladesh’s national intelligence machinery has evolved in correspondence with the progress in strength and stability of the state and civil-military relations, and has been used by every type of government to maintain absolute power and political security.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available