Advanced search
1 file | 865.69 KB Add to list

Hartal as a complex political performance: general strikes and the organisation of (local) power in Bangladesh

Bert Suykens (UGent) and Mohammad Aynul Islam (UGent)
Author
Organization
Abstract
Hartal, the general strike or total shutdown, is one of the defining features of politics in Bangladesh. While opposition parties proclaim it is one of their only weapons to put pressure on the ruling party, Bangladeshi middle classes and the international (donor) community view hartal as essentially disruptive. Focusing on the local organisation of hartal at the ward level, this article argues that hartal plays a crucial role in the organisation of the local power structure in Bangladesh. By considering hartal as a complex political performance, we are able to show that hartals offer unique opportunities for local party organisers to show, maintain and improve their position in the local power structure. Addressing a multi-levelled audience, it enables them to gain access to beneficial patronage relationships with the party (leadership) at the local, regional and national levels. The willingness to take risk and the ability to recruit hartal participants offers important markers to establish and improve these relationships. As such, efforts to move away from hartal to ‘less disruptive’ forms of protest are misguided.
Keywords
Chittagong, Banglades, Hartal, strike, political performance

Downloads

  • (...).pdf
    • full text (Published version)
    • |
    • UGent only
    • |
    • PDF
    • |
    • 865.69 KB

Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Suykens, Bert, and Mohammad Aynul Islam. “Hartal as a Complex Political Performance: General Strikes and the Organisation of (Local) Power in Bangladesh.” CONTRIBUTIONS TO INDIAN SOCIOLOGY, vol. 47, no. 1, 2013, pp. 61–83, doi:10.1177/006996671204700103.
APA
Suykens, B., & Islam, M. A. (2013). Hartal as a complex political performance: general strikes and the organisation of (local) power in Bangladesh. CONTRIBUTIONS TO INDIAN SOCIOLOGY, 47(1), 61–83. https://doi.org/10.1177/006996671204700103
Chicago author-date
Suykens, Bert, and Mohammad Aynul Islam. 2013. “Hartal as a Complex Political Performance: General Strikes and the Organisation of (Local) Power in Bangladesh.” CONTRIBUTIONS TO INDIAN SOCIOLOGY 47 (1): 61–83. https://doi.org/10.1177/006996671204700103.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Suykens, Bert, and Mohammad Aynul Islam. 2013. “Hartal as a Complex Political Performance: General Strikes and the Organisation of (Local) Power in Bangladesh.” CONTRIBUTIONS TO INDIAN SOCIOLOGY 47 (1): 61–83. doi:10.1177/006996671204700103.
Vancouver
1.
Suykens B, Islam MA. Hartal as a complex political performance: general strikes and the organisation of (local) power in Bangladesh. CONTRIBUTIONS TO INDIAN SOCIOLOGY. 2013;47(1):61–83.
IEEE
[1]
B. Suykens and M. A. Islam, “Hartal as a complex political performance: general strikes and the organisation of (local) power in Bangladesh,” CONTRIBUTIONS TO INDIAN SOCIOLOGY, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 61–83, 2013.
@article{3196841,
  abstract     = {{Hartal, the general strike or total shutdown, is one of the defining features of politics in Bangladesh. While opposition parties proclaim it is one of their only weapons to put pressure on the ruling party, Bangladeshi middle classes and the international (donor) community view hartal as essentially disruptive. Focusing on the local organisation of hartal at the ward level, this article argues that hartal plays a crucial role in the organisation of the local power structure in Bangladesh. By considering hartal as a complex political performance, we are able to show that hartals offer unique opportunities for local party organisers to show, maintain and improve their position in the local power structure. Addressing a multi-levelled audience, it enables them to gain access to beneficial patronage relationships with the party (leadership) at the local, regional and national levels. The willingness to take risk and the ability to recruit hartal participants offers important markers to establish and improve these relationships. As such, efforts to move away from hartal to ‘less disruptive’ forms of protest are misguided.}},
  author       = {{Suykens, Bert and Islam, Mohammad Aynul}},
  issn         = {{0069-9659}},
  journal      = {{CONTRIBUTIONS TO INDIAN SOCIOLOGY}},
  keywords     = {{Chittagong,Banglades,Hartal,strike,political performance}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{1}},
  pages        = {{61--83}},
  title        = {{Hartal as a complex political performance: general strikes and the organisation of (local) power in Bangladesh}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/006996671204700103}},
  volume       = {{47}},
  year         = {{2013}},
}

Altmetric
View in Altmetric
Web of Science
Times cited: