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Bureaucratic and political leadership in Bangladesh: dynamics of administrative reform and the public interest

Ahmed Shafiqul Huque and Jannatul Ferdous

Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, 2019, vol. 41, issue 3, 169-180

Abstract: Leading administrative reforms is the role of the political executive with a broad vision aimed at effecting improvements for the society and serving the public interest. This is a desirable arrangement that unfortunately has not been attained in Bangladesh for a number of reasons. Using various strategies, the bureaucratic leadership has exercised control over the conception, design and formulation of reform plans, and implemented recommendations selectively to uphold their own group interests. Based on a review of the existing literature, current debates, published analyses, relevant government documents, and conversations with public officials and political leaders, this article argues that administrative reforms in Bangladesh have failed to attain their objectives due to the domination of bureaucratic interests over the public interest. The experience highlights the importance of ensuring checks and balances over the roles and influence of bureaucratic leadership in the design and implementation of meaningful administrative reforms.

Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:taf:rapaxx:v:41:y:2019:i:3:p:169-180