Prof Riaz completes Bangladesh speaking tour

In a speaking tour about Bangladeshi politics, Illinois State Department of Politics and Government Chair and Professor Ali Riaz delivered four presentations in Bangladesh between January 27 and February 1. These presentations were based on Riaz’s work on the governance, media, and history of Bangladesh.

On January 27 Riaz delivered a lecture at the Department of Mass Communication and IMG_0269-1024x683Journalism at the University of Rajshahi. In his lecture, titled “Media and Democracy,”‘ he underscored the challenges faced by the Bangladeshi media and said that freedom of the press in Bangladesh is under significant threat.

Riaz delivered a lecture at the plenary session of an international conference titled “Governance and Development: The Asian Perspective.” The plenary lecture, delivered on January 28, was titled “Measuring Governance: What Are We Missing?” The two-day conference, organized by the Department of Public Administration of the University of Rajshahi, was held January 28—29. Riaz argued that the extant indicators to measure governance have an institutional bias and ignore power-relations in the society.

A the Institute of Bangladesh Studies (IBS) at Rajshahi, on January 29, Riaz discussed the challenges of writing the political history of Bangladesh In this talk Riaz noted that there have been efforts by all regimes in power since independence to create an “official history.” He insisted that these sort of efforts are inimical to open discussions about the history of the nation.

Riaz capped his trip to Bangladesh with a keynote presentation at a seminar organized by the Center for Governance Studies at Dhaka on February 1. The seminar, “Governance: A Critical Examination,” drew significant media attention. Riaz said that governance is intrinsically connected to the capacity of the state, and “legitimation” capacity is central to other capacities.