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About Delwar Hussain

Delwar Hussain is an anthropologist based at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of Boundaries Undermined: The Ruins of Progress on the Bangladesh/India Border (C Hurst, 2013). He is currently researching his next book, a social and cultural history of the city of Dhaka

Articles by Delwar Hussain

This week’s front page editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Bangladesh: contempt of court vs freedom of speech

A blogger was convicted in Dhaka for his writing. A group of people who backed him in the press now faces the same charge. Why is this happening in Bangladesh?

Bangladesh, in the ruins of the future

Bangladesh's modern experience of industrial disaster highlights the fragile conditions in which many of its urban workforce toil. But the country has an earlier history of large-scale developmental ambition, far from the metropolis, which equally defined the lives of those involved. The trajectory of these "ruins of progress", says Delwar Hussain, can illuminate the challenges of the present.

Bangladesh: a state of impunity

A land whose citizens suffer injustice and cruelty without protection from law or state needs attention, says Delwar Hussain.

The state of things: a London protest

A student protest in central London reveals the ugly face of an unaccountable government and the angry one of an alienated young generation, finds Delwar Hussain.

The white and pleasant land

A racist assault on unfamiliar ground provokes Delwar Hussain to reflect on why the British countryside looks less than welcoming to people of colour.

The felling of bungalows, the building of Dhaka

The frenetic urban growth of Bangladesh's capital is transforming the lives of its inhabitants. But as Delwar Hussain describes in a rich and humane portrait, the process carries an epic social, environmental and historical cost.

(This article was first published on 21 August 2009)

An east London election: politics and coercion

The dubious tactics used by some party campaigners in Britain’s general election need to be examined as part of a wider fraud inquiry, says Delwar Hussain.

Digital Bangladesh: virtual dreams, real lives

An elusive project to transform Bangladesh needs an infusion of resources, leadership and village-centred development if it is to be made meaningful, says Delwar Hussain.

(This article was first published on 30 April 2009)

Life and death in the Bangladesh-India margins

A young boy is killed in the shadow of a security-fence separating his Bangladeshi village from neighbouring India. In visiting the border region and quietly uncovering the story, Delwar Hussain reveals much about the area, its people and the wider politics

(This article was first published on 13 January 2009)

Islamism and expediency in Bangladesh

The way Bangladesh's secular parties and leaders conduct politics is fuelling Islamist extremism and destabilising democracy, reports Delwar Hussain.

Bangladeshis in east London: from secular politics to Islam

Who speaks for the mostly poor Bangladeshi community in east London? Delwar Hussain charts a long-term shift from secular leftism to Islamism – one in which British state policy has played a significant role.
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