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The Significance of Civil Intellectuals’ Activism: A Case of Eco-Nationalistic Social Movement in Bangladesh

1
Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University, 1-5-1 Kagamiyama, Higashi Hiroshima 739-8529, Japan
2
Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Chittagong, Chittagong, Bangladesh
Societies 2020, 10(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc10010018
Received: 13 December 2019 / Revised: 28 January 2020 / Accepted: 6 February 2020 / Published: 8 February 2020
This article examines how the civil intellectuals of Bangladesh oppose the state-sponsored political imposition that consistently approached to establish a coal-fired power plant, thus, risking the Sundarbans—one of the world’s largest mangrove forests. By incorporating five points of significance, this article argues that civil intellectuals, as the only acceptable spokespersons, not only play a vital ‘counteracting’ role in differing the government’s adamant decision, but also are impeded by their functional limitations. This study appraises the position of civil intellectuals in this movement through using intensive interviews, focus group discussions, and participation-observation. The results find that civil intellectuals: (1) respond to governmentality by producing counter-discourse and are struggling state hegemony through the phases of the movement; (2) conceive an eco-nationalistic ideology that is in contrast to the state’s development-nationalistic motives; (3) oppose sense of eco-governance by offering scientific counter-discourse; (4) are revealed as having significant functional limitations in associating with local people from the affected area; and (5) are inherently political entities, whose identity is understood through their reflective functional behavior. The study suggests that civil intellectuals need to solve the constraints of ‘theory’ and ‘practice’ to gain ultimate success in operating social resistance to oppose issues of injustice. View Full-Text
Keywords: civil intellectuals; social movement; counter-discourse; governmentality; hegemony; power; resistance; activism; cultural nationalism civil intellectuals; social movement; counter-discourse; governmentality; hegemony; power; resistance; activism; cultural nationalism
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Huq, M.A. The Significance of Civil Intellectuals’ Activism: A Case of Eco-Nationalistic Social Movement in Bangladesh. Societies 2020, 10, 18.

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