The Center for Bangladesh and Global Affairs (CBGA)
About the Center
The Center for Bangladesh and Global Affairs (CBGA) is a non-profit, non-political, non-government and knowledge driven initiative. It is an initiative of the proposed Knowledge and Resources Foundation (KRF) to exclusively focus on research, seminars, training, publications, survey, advocacy and related activities on Bangladesh and global affairs. The Foundation, headed by its President, Professor Delwar Hossain has launched the Center for Bangladesh and Global Affairs (CBGA), as a specialized Centre dedicated to support, promote and build international relations of Bangladesh. The Center engages study, generate evidence, and promote research on multidisciplinary and multidimensional issues influencing Bangladesh in its policy and knowledge domains particularly in the areas of security, diplomacy, foreign policy and international relations.
The Center is about building research and policy capability of public and private individuals and entities in Bangladesh in the area of domestic and global affairs marked by the evolving national, regional and global dynamics in a complex and interconnected world. The initiative is premised on the assumption that a Bangladesh perspective is considerably missing in the works of existing think-tanks and research programs in international and strategic studies in the country and beyond. Over the decades there has been developed a stereotyped and linear understanding of Bangladesh at home and abroad. Different local and international hostile forces of Bangladesh have fully been using this lacunae and reductionist view to promote their vested interests. Members of youth and young generations are growing up with their knowledge in a huge vacuum of multidimensional, analytical and historical understanding of Bangladesh and its political, economic, strategic and cultural phenomena. On the one hand, they are venting their deep frustration and disappointment often for wrong and misdirected reasons, they remain deeply ignorant and oblivious about their own nation. There is also a lack of a scholarly and high-quality analysis of bilateral, regional and global issues in Bangladesh. The proposal is expected to contribute to address this intellectual challenge in Bangladesh.
The mission of the CBGA is to increase local and global capabilities and responsiveness of Bangladesh in the domains of domestic and global affairs. It strives to enhance knowledge, skills, and understanding of issues of local, national and global significance covering peace, development, security, environment, culture, society and history leading to build a comprehensive and holistic research and academic capability of Bangladesh in a world where everything is globally, transnationally, and trans-locally linked with a puzzling matrix of actions and interests.
International relations have become much more complex and multidimensional than any time in the history. There has been a power transition process in place at regional and global levels over the past last two decades. Bangladesh and its neighboring regions have witnessed fundamental shifts in strategic and foreign policy priorities of regional and extra-regional powers. The Rohingya crisis, Myanmar question, border clashes between India and China, fast deteriorating Indo-Pak relations and the withdrawal of the United States troops from Afghanistan are some of the fallouts arising from the evolving situations. The underlying cause behind the new developments is growing confrontation between the US and China at strategic and diplomatic levels. The fast-changing Chinese economy and its global reach has created fundamental concerns to the US and its Western allies and India for the future of current global economic order. By mid 2010s, China dethroned the US in the league of global economic powers by gross domestic product (GDP) in purchasing power parity (PPP). China has strongly come forward with its economic, military and cultural influence to deal with the new transition of global powers.
The rival strategies and clashing visions of great powers have pushed every nation to put international relations in the center stage of public policy. While the great powers pursue their hegemonic or dominant ambitions through power politics, the global community faces a truly globalized form of interdependence with complex patterns of interests and policy responses. Amid growing complexity of multipolar world, Bangladesh has earned a respectable position in the world through its remarkably consistent economic growth and social progress. The country has achieved enviable success in all fronts – economic, social, diplomatic and environmental. Particularly, the success in economic development has erased the old image of Bangladesh as a case of the so-called ‘international basket case’ or a ‘least developed country’. The graduation of Bangladesh to a developing country by the criteria of the United Nations and achievement of status of a middle-income country demonstrate a global recognition to continuing journey of the country to prosperity and peace. Bangladesh is placed in the right direction to transform into a developed country by 2041 or even before under the leadership of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The image of Bangladesh as a ‘small power’ or a ‘small nation’ is a matter of the past. The world has witnessed a resurgent Bangladesh in security and strategic arena marked by a new geopolitical matrix in the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean region.
However, the changing matrix of interests of great powers and the confrontational postures of strategies has created a new global strategic environment. Bangladesh as a significant power in South Asia and a proactive player in the Bay of Bengal region faces a new set of challenges in its foreign policy and security strategy. These challenges mostly emanate from unilateral pressure of regional and extra-regional powers for their geopolitical gains, miscalculation of policy and behaviour and growing regional instability and mistrust. Scholars and observers of international relations point out the emergence of new Cold War between the US led coalition of powers and China-led coalition of friends and allies.
Against this backdrop, it is critical to provide knowledge support to analyze evolving regional and global environment and to formulate appropriate policies to deal with competing great powers and non-state actors. It has increasingly been felt that South Asia and surrounding regions have entered in a new era of rivalry and conflict involving the regional and extra regional powers with their divergent interests and identities. An erudite and high-quality analysis of bilateral, regional and global issues is an inescapable imperative for Bangladesh. There is a need for continuously generating knowledge products for the capacity building of the state and related stakeholders and deeper understanding external world in the areas of economy, security, defense, foreign policy, diplomacy, culture, global multilateral cooperation, regional and sub-regional cooperation and overall global affairs. The CBGA will endeavor to understand ‘domestic Bangladesh’ and ‘global Bangladesh’ in order to respond to the changing normative and strategic orders.
The Center is founded on the premise that research, training and academic endeavors from all of CBGA’s diverse programs will have immense impact on multilevel peace, security, governance and development through building relevant local and global competencies. It has specific objective to enhance understanding of diplomacy, strategy, foreign policy, global development and international relations in the context of evolving domestic and global scenarios. It aims at offering research, academic, and training programs and actions to understand and society, polity, economy, culture and environment of Bangladesh. It is dedicated to infusing creative, innovative agenda, thoughts, skills and inclusivity in human actions and policies. The CBGA will serve as a bridge between experts, academic, policy practitioners in the government, business leaders and civil society through dialogue and research.
- The Center will work at national and international levels with the stakeholders of the government, private sectors, civil society and citizens’ to promote education, research, training, and other knowledge oriented endeavors in the broad field of Bangladesh and global affairs through different institutional mechanisms.
- The Center will conduct basic, problem-solving, need-based research, survey, and training in the areas of resource development, environment, climate change, foreign policy, diplomacy, security, development, peace, international cooperation, governance, poverty reduction, enterprise development, health and nutrition, education, gender issues, and sustainable development and related areas.
- The Center will establish professional knowledge, resources and networks across the nations, societies and people in global affairs in the age of globalization and post-globalization through establishing research, professional and academic institutions, centers and suitable organizations.
- The Center will undertake necessary initiatives such as fellowships, scholarships, seminars, conferences, academic programs and the like to brand Bangladesh abroad as well as deepening global understanding about Bangladesh.
- The Center will undertake necessary endeavors to meet the challenges of 4th Industrial Revolution, implement Delta Plan 2100 of Bangladesh, and related long term challenges for Bangladesh and the global community with innovative and creative programs and actions.