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Islamization by Secular Ruling Parties: The Case of Bangladesh

  • Jasmin Lorch (a1)


As of yet, Islamization by secular ruling parties has hardly been investigated in depth. To bridge this gap, the present article reviews the existing literature on Islamization, synthesizes the scattered existing theoretical insights on Islamization by secular actors and applies them to the case of Bangladesh. It argues that, especially when they act in conjunction, three main conditions can drive secular rulers to Islamize public policy: first, the rise of Islamist social movements; second, fierce political competition; and third, (semi-)authoritarian rule. Focusing on the current Awami League (AL) government, the article shows how these three factors have interacted to produce a top-down process of state-led Islamization in Bangladesh.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Jasmin Lorch, GIGA Institute of Middle East Studies (IMES), GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, GIGA Berlin Office, Friedrichstraße 206, 10969 Berlin, Germany. E-mail:


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The field research for this article was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (grant number: DFG FU 243/9-1, AOBJ 612034).



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Islamization by Secular Ruling Parties: The Case of Bangladesh

  • Jasmin Lorch (a1)


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