How do nation-states form in developing societies? In what ways does conflict between contending social forces affect the capacity of the state? What influence does the global economic system have over the state? How does the transformation of the state occur? Policymakers and academics must confront these questions as the debate on state failure in developing countries gains prominence. Unfolding State: The Transformation of Bangladesh addresses these questions and offers a new analytical framework for understanding the complexities of state transformation processes in the Third World. Drawing on the experience of the Bangladeshi state over the last three decades, and comparing it with the Tanzanian state, Ali Riaz maintains that historical legacies, the relative strengths of the social classes, and the location of the state within global economic system create the structure of the state, while its transformation is contingent upon the economic and political crises and the emergence of a counter coalition with definite agendas. Unfolding State is an important contribution to the debate on statehood, generally, and particularly on class formation, state-society relations, and social changes in developing countries. This engaging and thought provoking study will interest policymakers and students and scholars of political science, history, sociology, and South Asian studies.
Ali Riaz is Associate Professor of Politics and Government and Associate Director of the Unit for Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies at Illinois State University. He has taught at Claflin University in South Carolina, Lincoln University in England, and Dhaka University in Bangladesh. He also worked as Broadcast Journalist at the BBC World Service in London. His recent book is titled God Willing: The Politics of Islamism in Bangladesh (2004). His previous publications include: Voice and Silence: Contextualizing Taslima Nasreen (1995) and State, Class and Military Rule: Political Economy of Martial Law in Bangladesh (1994). He has also published more than ten books in Bengali.