Cascades of Violence in Bangladesh

Author/s (editor/s):

John; D'Costa

Publication year:


Publication type:

Working paper

Imperial domination cascaded down to a politics of separation of India from the Mughal and British Empires, which cascaded further down to a violent politics of separation of Pakistan from India, cascading to a war of separation of Bangladesh from Pakistan, which cascaded through layers of internal conflict within Bangladesh. The South Asian cascade of partitions delivered homogeneity without peace to Bangladesh. We argue that this was because the comparative homogeneity was achieved by a cascade of violence.We find evidence that modern wars can cascade to the creation of Hobbesian rural spaces where sexual violence becomes a strategy, revenge is indulged, rule of law is in abeyance, insurgents have morphed into gangs of organised criminals. These anomic spaces are in the market for a supplier of order. That supply might come from one organised crime group dominating, from an armed rule of law movement like the Taliban, UN peacekeepers, a state that supplies community policing and a rule of law, or a state military that allows enough pacification to justify its presence and enough anarchy to itself profit from organised crime. The Chittagong Hill Tracts is seen as fitting the last description. Its descent into this condition is viewed through a lens that points from the Chittagong Hill Tracts back through the layers of the above cascades. 

Cite the publication as

Braithwaite, John; D'Costa, Bina, 2012 , Cascades of Violence in Bangladesh, RegNet, Australian National University, Canberra

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