Bangladesh's International Relations with South Asia and Beyond

Authored by: Ali Riaz

Routledge Handbook of the International Relations of South Asia

Print publication date:  October  2022
Online publication date:  October  2022

Print ISBN: 9781032159881
eBook ISBN: 9781003246626
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter examines the pathway of Bangladesh's international relations since its founding in 1971. It shows that Bangladesh's international relations have undergone three phases in the past five decades. In the first phase, Bangladesh was deeply embedded in the Indo-Soviet axis due to idealist foreign policy, but it changed its course after the military coup and aligned itself with the Western global political order. This second phase continued until 2009 despite changes in state power from military rule to civilian. Since 2009, Bangladesh's international relations have entered the third phase when its geopolitical significance has increased, and the ruling party has tied its political fortune with the country's alignment with regional and global powers. The rise of assertive China and Bangladesh's growing relationship with it has now thrust Bangladesh in the middle of an emergent cold war between the United States and China. It is against this background the chapter lays out four possible pathways for the future of Bangladesh's international relations.

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