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Repositioning Bangladesh in the Western imagination

Asia Research Centre and Social Policy book launch

Date: Monday 5 December 2011 
Time: 6.30-8pm 
Venue:  Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Professor David Lewis
Discussants:  Professor Ramachandra Guha, Professor Naila Kabeer
Chair: Professor Stuart Corbridge

This event celebrates the publication of David Lewis new book Bangladesh: Politics, Economy and Civil Society. In his new book Lewis sets out the main elements of Bangladesh's politics, economy and civil society in the years since the country gained its independence from Pakistan in 1971.  

At this event David Lewis will talk about his new book and then discuss it further with contributions from Professors Guha and Kabeer, followed by a chance for the audience to get involved. Copies of the book will be on sale at the event.

Professor Lewis explores the idea that the international community needs to pay more attention to Bangladesh as a place of great interest and importance, and argues that the country has been unwisely neglected in the Western imagination compared with India and Pakistan. Bangladesh is important because (i) it is a majority Muslim country that is making good progress building a stable democratic system; (ii) it is achieving increased economic growth and human development; (ii) the country has long served as an incubator for many key development ideas that have emerged over the past 40 years, (iii) it is a useful portal into understanding the way globalization affects people in the world's poorer countries, and (v) it is a country on the front-line of climate change.

David Lewis is Professor of Social Policy and Development at LSE. Professor Lewis specialises in development policy and management, with particular expertise on NGOs and civil society. His other interests include rural development, organisational issues in development agencies, and anthropological approaches to development. An anthropologist by training, he has undertaken extensive field research in South Asia (particularly Bangladesh) and has advised and consulted for a wide range of international development agencies, NGOs and private sector organisations.

Ramachandra Guha is the Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs for the 2011-2012 academic year at LSE. Ramachandra Guha is a historian and biographer. He has taught at the universities of Yale and Stanford, held the Arné Naess Chair at the University of Oslo, and been the Indo-American Community Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley. His books include a pioneering environmental history, The Unquiet Woods (University of California Press, 1989), and an award-winning social history of cricket, A Corner of a Foreign Field (Picador, 2002). India after Gandhi (Macmillan/Ecco Press, 2007) was chosen as a book of the year by the Economist, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out, and Outlook, and as a book of the decade in the Times of India, the Times of London, and The Hindu. Guha's books and essays have been translated into more than twenty languages. The New York Times has referred to him as 'perhaps the best among India's non fiction writers'; Time Magazine has called him 'Indian democracy's preeminent chronicler'. In 2008, Prospect and Foreign Policy magazines nominated Guha as one of the world's one hundred most influential intellectuals.

Naila Kabeer is Professor of Development Studies at SOAS. Professor Kabeer is a social economist and works primarily on poverty, gender, and social policy issues. She is the author of Reversed Realities: Gender Hierarchies in Development Thought (1994) and The Power to Choose: Bangladeshi Women and Labour Market Decisions in London and Dhaka (2000).

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #lsebangladesh

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries email events@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 6043.

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