Editorial Note

Welcome to the latest issue of the Social Science Review, a distinguished journal of the Faculty of Social Science at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University in Gopalganj, Bangladesh. As we embark on another journey of intellectual exploration and knowledge dissemination, we are delighted to present a collection of thought-provoking articles that reflect the diverse research interests within the field of social sciences.
In this issue, we are proud to showcase research papers that cover a wide range of subjects, including sociology, anthropology, political science, economics, and psychology.
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    Social Science Review

    ISSN 2958-1664 (Print)

    ISSN XXXX-XXXX (Online)


    Dr. Hasibur Rahaman


    Prof. Dr. Naseem A. Hussain
    Professor Dr. Delwar Hossain
    Prof. Dr. Shantanu Majumder
    Professor Dr. Elias Hossain
    Prof. Dr. Baladas Ghosal
    Prof. Dr. David Taylor
    Dr. Mohammad Anisur Rahaman
    Mr. Jubaidur Rahman
    Dr. Md. Abu Saleh
    Mr. Badrul Islam
    Mr. Md. Nasir Uddin

    Assistant Editor

    Mr. Foisal Ahmed
Return Migration in Bangladesh: Questions of Brain Drain, Brain Gain, and Modern Slavery

This article is written on the basis of the findings of research that to get insights into return migration and analyze its impact on the society and economy of Bangladesh. This is in relation to the theoretical position that the movement of the migrants and the knowledge they bring with them is a vital component in the process of globalization. The migration phenomenon is interpreted differently by saying that it is not a ‘one-way trip’ because sending countries are benefited from ‘brain gain’. It locates the potential benefits of return migration of professionals with new ideas and knowledge and non- professionals with increased skill and experience. Can the return migrants be agents of change in their country of origin? The generally perceived gains in Bangladesh from international migration include remittance payments to sending countries, reduced unemployment, and skill acquisition overseas which may be used by the return migrants for the development of the country. The process of globalization has raised the issue of ‘new brain drains’ as the recent phenomenon is the migration of knowledge-skilled people and young students to developed countries from Bangladesh. Another dark side of migration is also explored from the experiences of low-skilled return migrants who faced the atrocities of ‘modern slavery’ while working in foreign countries    Read full article

The Multiplicity of Institutions in Rohingya Camps and Its Impacts on Host Communities in Bangladesh

This paper investigates how Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals (FDMN) are transforming and adapting to the refugee camps. There are typically competing demands for cooperation and claims for governance by economic resources, which allow them to create pockets of influence over the host population. They do so through adaptive and transformative coping strategies. We sketched out these strategies and their effect on the host community. The paper draws its finding based on focused group discussions and in-depth interviews with the host communities, refugees, Camp in Charge (CIC), local NGO and INGO members, and civil society members. We argue that the local host community and refugees have a dialectical relationship in various ways and have significant consequences. The refugees are easily exploited and cast off in crimes that have escalated in the local areas, mainly impacting the local host population with increased rivalry and undermining state security. They exercise muscle power by inflicting fear and intimidation on the host population. The welfare non-cash transfers and logistics provided to refugees by development agencies are sold on the local market as they face a monetary crisis as an adaptive strategy. Adaptive strategies are when the refugees subsist with the available resources without subverting the top-down governance of the Bangladesh government and the UNHCR. Furthermore, in search of monetary exposure, refugees also leave camps to work outside as a transformative strategy, trying to transform their lives from passive aid receivers to subverting top-down governance as they are not entitled to free mobility    Read full article

Community Engagement in Disaster Risk Governance: Role of Union Disaster Management Committee (UDMC) in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to disaster risks. For effective disaster risk reduction, the country has transformed its disaster management goal from post-disaster rehabilitation responses to pre- disaster risk reduction measures. Union Disaster Management Committee (UDMC) is the lowest tier of the disaster governance system of the country that is designed to accommodate community participation and enhance the risk reduction capacities of the communities from the bottom. The paper is designed to advance a systematic investigation of the effectiveness of the UDMCs by examining the functions and mechanisms and finding out the obstacles faced by the UDMCs at lower levels. For doing so, Document study is taken as a study method for qualitative research. The study findings show that UDMCs exhibit strong promises but face some challenges for the weakness of functioning. The low level of engagement of community people, the centralized government system, the client’s network, and the dominance of local politics create barriers to connecting the community people to broader governance. However, the UDMCs as a local-level governance body have the potential to effectually impact risk governance through effective participation and capacity building of community people    Read full article

Development and Validation of a Scale Measuring Social Stigma of Mental Illness in Bangladesh

The present study aimed to develop and validate a scale for measuring the social stigma of mental illness among the general people of Bangladesh. Group interviews were conducted focusing on social stigma with the general people of Bangladesh (n = 12), from which 40 representative quotations were identified. Cognitive interviews with health professionals and general people (n = 8) identified 18 items for the Social Stigma of Mental Illness Questionnaire (SSMIQ) scale. Two items were dropped on the basis of expert opinion. The final 16-item 1616-itemSMIQ (n = 240) was completed by a representative sample of the population. The SSMIQ was found to have excellent test-retest and internal consistency reliability. The test-retest reliability of the scale was found to be .784. Due to its single-factor structure, a 15-item version was created. The study also aimed to identify the key factors associated with stigma. Results indicated that there were significant gender differences in social stigma score (t =-2.32, p<.001) and previous history of mental illness, (t =-2.99, p<.001). The result also indicates a statistically significant difference in social stigma scores (F=19.56, p<.05) for educational level, (F = 11.46, p<.05) for the living area, (F = 19.87, p<.05) for socioeconomic status and (F = 22.62, p<.05) for age. The SSMIQ are valid and reliable instruments that can be used in clinical and research settings.    Read full article

Social Standing of the Members of Public Accounts Committee in Bangladesh: The Case of Eighth and Ninth Parliament

The social standing of PAC members in Bangladesh has been identified in this study as the level of values, ability to understand their role in the committee and the parliament as a whole, and the capacity to secure financial accountability of the executive. The social standing of PAC members depends on various factors like the level of education, profession, age, and experience of members. The variation of the level of education, occupation, and professional experience makes a mixture of PAC roles in the eighth and ninth parliament of Bangladesh. Such differences in members’ social standing keep an impact on the performance of PAC in numerous ways. These include improper debate and less outcome from PAC decisions, low frequency and duration of PAC meetings, poor attendance of members in the meeting, and the leadership role of the chairperson. Poor attendance of PAC members revealed the unwillingness of the members from the behavioral aspect to participate in the meetings.    Read full article

Media Representation of Domestic Violence and Victim Blaming: A Theoretical Perspective

The news media shapes society's opinions of domestic abuse. This study examines how the media's portrayals of women as domestic violence victims raise awareness, sometimes mislead and sensationalize the issue for profit, and blame victims. The search for victims' acts, violence's causes, and fault has dominated media coverage. This image helps abusers rationalize their behaviour and makes it hard for victims, while public opinion perceives victims negatively. Since the media exposes their identities and characteristics, victims focus on proving their innocence rather than seeking justice. These findings encourage gender-inclusive domestic violence prevalence discussions. The findings show that media coverage of domestic violence emphasizes spectacular news and high-profile occurrences while downplaying the issue's gravity. This strategy may lead to incorrect reporting, victim blaming, and character assassination, distracting from justice and inspiring sympathy for offenders. Thus, the media fails to present domestic violence as a pattern of planned assault, perpetuating harmful stereotypes and hindering effective solutions. These findings suggest critically analyzing media representations of domestic abuse and advocating for more responsible as well as equitable reporting.    Read full article

Public Participation in Local Government Budgeting: A Study on Joypurhat and Dhaka District

Participatory Budgeting in local government is considered very significant for establishing good governance, enhancing social accountability, and legitimizing ruling power. The budgeting process promises quality service against the popular demand at the local level as well. The local government structure of Bangladesh is also actively establishing different avenues of public participation in the governance for initiating democratic decentralization. Among them, the Open Budget Meeting (OBM) is considered significant to connect the popular demand and local-level resource allocation at once. However, this study aims to measure the level of public participation in the local government (Union Parishad) budgeting process, to identify the major obstacles, and assess the spaces of participation left untouched. Following a cross-sectional quantitative approach, Arnstein’s ladder of public participation has been used in this study to fulfill the research objectives. A total of 392 samples were collected using the survey method from Joypurhat and Dhaka district of Bangladesh following a semi-structured questionnaire. Major findings of the study showed that the public participation quality in the local government budgeting context is at the “therapy level”. Results represent that the existing public participatory mechanism in the local government budgeting contexts (OBM) is merely eye-washing rather than ensuring actual citizen participation. People cannot influence budgeting decisions through the existing open budget meetings at all. The therapy level of public participation indicates that the OBM is set only for projecting to the people that they have an opportunity to participate and attain public trust, legitimacy, and support for the government rather than using OBM to enhance actual public participation indeed. However, the government of Bangladesh must re-examine and bring contextual amendments to the legal backgrounds of OBM- the Local Government Act (Union Parishad)-2009 as well as the operational manual for OBM at large. Furthermore, other respective authorities and related bodies must need to make necessary initiatives for ensuring effective public participation in the local government budgeting of Bangladesh.    Read full article

The Link between Connectivity and Security: The Bangladesh Case

This paper presents the relationship between transportation and national security in different aspects. The main research question is - What is the relationship between transportation and national security? The qualitative methodology has been applied in this research and is based on a literature review. Bangladesh has been considered as a case in the research. The finding is that the relationship between transportation and national security is very much complex. Both liberalism and realist theories support the positive relationship between transportation and traditional and non-traditional security, and at the same time, they also showed the negative relationship between them. Both theories argued the antagonistic relationship between environmental security (non-traditional) and transportation. From Bangladesh's perspective, traditional security's most valuable part is economic security, which is benefited from internal and external transportation, but transportation makes a massive threat to every non- traditional security sector    Read full article

Bangladesh-Myanmar Relations: Understanding Strategic Dimension

Bangladesh and Myanmar are close neighbors sharing both land and maritime border. Historically, the southern part of Bangladesh had been linked with the Rakhine state of Myanmar. After the independence of Bangladesh, the official relations between the countries commenced in 1972 following Myanmar’s recognition. After that many visits of state leaders took place but the relationship can’t develop more due to some issues like Myanmar’s military rule, the Rohingya crisis etc. It is rational that the neighboring countries can have some bilateral disputes but that does not mean that they will be away from economic and other engagements. In the age of globalization, all states are interrelated and interconnected to each other. From this point of view, the study is designed to understand the strategic significance of Bangladesh-Myanmar bilateral relations. The study deals with the two research questions-why are Bangladesh-Myanmar relations strategically important? And how can both countries develop relations with each other? The study is qualitative in nature and based on descriptive and narrative methods. The study takes secondary data by reviewing newspapers, related articles, books, international organizations reports, and government reports. The study uncovered that from both geo- political and economic points of view, Bangladesh and Myanmar are significant to each other. Despite the Rohingya crisis both countries need to work together. Myanmar is important for Bangladesh to attain its strategic objective aiming at fostering connectivity with China and ASEAN countries. Conversely, Bangladesh is significant to Myanmar for its geostrategic location. Myanmar may utilize the Chittagong port and the upcoming deep- sea port of Bangladesh for her imported products which will reduce cargo costs. Additionally, in recent times Bangladesh has experienced remarkable economic growth and amazing development in the agro-economic sector that may attract Myanmar to flourish in its agro-economic sector.    Read full article