In the experiences of the people of South Asia, misgovernance and insecurity appear to be intimately linked. In most states in the region, corruption is rampant, state institutions are often weak and inefficient, electoral processes are riddled with violence and crime, and judiciaries are often politicized. Structural violence is a brutal reality for most South Asians, and on many occasions paired with the threat of physical violence. Ethnic and religious minorities in South Asian states have generally faced oppression, persecution or discrimination, be it the tribal communities in Northeast India, people of Nepalese ethnicity in Bhutan, the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka or the hill people of the Chittagong Hill Tract in Bangladesh. Socioeconomic divides are still vast in South Asian countries. In most cases, for those situated outside and without any links to the traditional realms of power within socio-economic and political structures, or those who lack the resources to bribe their way to access the most basic services and exercise the most fundamental rights, it is a traumatic and harsh way of life, riddled with deep insecurities. In recent times, several non-state actors (NSAs) operating in Bangladesh have per-

sistently cited aspects of misgovernance – such as partisan politics, weak governance institutions, a corrupt and politicized judiciary, and a similarly corrupt and violent electoral process – as key causes of insecurity for people in the country. This chapter explores the main arguments which link these issues to the safety and well-being of Bangladeshi people, and analyses the attempts of three main national English-language dailies – The Daily Star, New Age and The Bangladesh Today – to highlight these links. The case study begins with a brief conceptual discussion of ‘misgovernance’ and contextualizes the phenomenon in South Asia through a historical overview of socio-political instability in the region. It goes on to outline the political landscape in Bangladesh since independence, followed by a detailed examination of the key dynamics of misgovernance in the country. The case study then analyses editorials published in the three newspapers mentioned above in the years leading up to and immediately following the imposition of a state of emergency in Bangladesh

in January 2007. These editorials specifically link aspects of misgovernance and insecurity amongst the people of Bangladesh, and call for urgent action at the state level towards mitigating them. Using Securitization Theory, the case study carefully explores these efforts as attempts to securitize misgovernance in Bangladesh. In doing so, it highlights the weaknesses in the theory when applied to such a case, particularly its lack of adequate distinction between who ‘speaks’ security and who ‘does’ security, its requirement of a securitizing actor breaking free of ‘normal procedures and rules’ in making a securitizing move, and (to a lesser extent) its focus on policy outcomes in determining the success or failure of a securitizing move.