Reevaluating the Underlying Factors of 1990’s Mass Uprising against Authoritarian Regime in Bangladesh: An Analysis in the Light of Causal Model of Internal Conflict


  • Md. Zarif Rahman Research Assistant, Institute of Informatics and Development (IID), Bangladesh



Mass Uprising, Authoritarian Regime/Ershad Government, Bangladesh, Underlying Factors of Mass Uprising, Causal Model of Internal Conflict, Structural Factors, Political Factors, Economic/Social Factors, Cultural/Perceptual Factors


From the early beginning of the authoritarian government of Ershad, there was widespread opposition to his autocratic authority, which persisted for eight years before the 1990 rebellion brought an end to it. Like the majority of movements in Bangladesh, this one was started by students who put in heroic effort to see it through to a victorious finish. This was an urban-centric movement. With the aid of an established academic model of internal conflict, this study aims to investigate the revolt and support its underlying causes - particularly its socioeconomic and cultural causes - as well as its political causes. This study has been conducted by qualitative method, in which the information has been collected from secondary sources. As the analytical framework, this study uses Michael E. Brown’s internal conflict causal model. According to this analysis, the major structural causes that led to the uprising were communal violence, a weakened educational system, corruption, and paramilitary activity on the part of the government. In terms of political factors, this study points to the authority’s use of torture or other oppressive measures against people’s fundamental rights, the state’s non-secular policy, the scope of political opportunity, public support and sympathy for the students, the authority’s political error, and the coordinated actions of political elites as being important causes of the uprising. Economic and social factors contributing to the rebellion include the rising cost of living, the debt crisis, regular failure to meet growth targets, and a highly divisive and bourgeois-centric economic system. Once more, this study reveals that the government’s actions against national culture through various policies, the extreme application of military culture, people’s negative memories of the Pakistani era’s authoritarian regime, and the positive perception of the student community in society are the cultural and perceptual factors that led to the uprising. The findings of the study will give relevant academicians, decision-makers, and the general public essential knowledge about Bangladeshi history as well as the fundamental causes of internal strife. They might contrast these conclusions with some important recent occurrences in Bangladesh. They may use it to address the fundamental issues in various facets of our society. As a result, the research may help them identify likely and long-lasting remedies for the advancement of our civilization.


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How to Cite

Rahman, M. Z. (2023). Reevaluating the Underlying Factors of 1990’s Mass Uprising against Authoritarian Regime in Bangladesh: An Analysis in the Light of Causal Model of Internal Conflict. Asian Review of Social Sciences, 12(1), 53–62.