Understanding Bangladesh’s Maritime Diplomacy: Strategic Hedging or Peaceful Engagement?
Lecturer in the Department of International Relations at the University of Dhaka. Samia graduated with BSS and MSS degrees from the Department of International Relations at the University of Dhaka. She received a Gold Medal from the President of Bangladesh in recognition of her academic excellence. Samia can be reached at email@example.com.
Maritime diplomacy has become an instrument for influencing the power concentration of the Bay of Bengal and the greater Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Given the brewing geopolitical significance of the Bay and the IOR, minor littoral powers like Bangladesh have been adjusting their diplomacy practices to tap the full potential of the renewed interests of the regional and extra-regional powers in this area. The contemporary literature identifies Bangladesh’s management of maritime diplomacy as strategic hedging. The paper challenges the idea and demonstrates that the maritime diplomacy practices of Bangladesh fail to meet the criteria essential to equate those with a strategic hedging approach. Rather the paper terms the maritime diplomacy practices of Bangladesh as peaceful engagement borrowing the ideas of an alternative school of thoughts.
Keywords: Maritime diplomacy, Bay of Bengal, strategic hedging, peaceful engagement.
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