Countries in Transition - A Brief Review of the Emerging Political Economy of Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, and Nepal

Publication | October 2009

This report provides perspective on the main issues in governance and political economy of Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, and Nepal.

In 2008, four countries of South Asia (Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, and Nepal) held significant elections. The paper highlights various pertinent issues in the political economy of these four countries and maps out the broad contours of the reforms they need to embark on.

For one, and in the short run, in the aftermath of the severe global economic crisis, all four countries will need to keep close tabs on the adverse economic impacts of the crisis on marginalized population. In the more long term, they will need to focus on second-generation reforms including mainstreaming development, making the political process more inclusive, and ensuring proper accountability of public institutions. Finally, the report argues that in all these countries the management of public expectations for swift and effective development actions will also take center stage in the months to come. Indeed, how the governments go about managing these expectations will prove to be just as important as instituting the policy reforms themselves in governance and political economy.


  • Introduction
  • Regional Picture
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • The Maldives
  • Nepal
  • Summary