“Bangladesh at 50: The Rise of a Bangladesh that can say no” is a new Security Nexus article written by DKI APCSS alumna Dr. Lailufar Yasmin, a professor at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.   

 Abstract: Bangladesh celebrated its 50 years of independence in 2021. Since October 2020, as Bangladesh’s per capita income increased beyond that of India, it has gained international attention about its success and has become a center of analysis as to why. This article argues that the existing analyses misses the notion that Bangladesh’s internal economic success is very much connected with its foreign policy choices. Gradually, within 50 years of its existence, Bangladesh has also acquired the power to be an agenda-setting nation, at least on regional issues and in terms of making its foreign policy choices. Bangladesh, thus, finds itself at the cusp of geopolitical attention by great powers, not as a country riddled by poverty and aid-dependency but rather as a country filled with possibilities. Therefore, this article argues that Bangladesh’s progress has now allowed for it to prioritize its own national interest by saying ‘no’ where necessary and ‘yes’ where its particular goals and objectives converge. 

Lailufar Yasmin, Ph.D., is a professor at the Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The views expressed in this article are his own and do not reflect those of DKI APCSS, the U.S. Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.