In this study of the political parties of Bangladesh we will assess the quality of the political parties and party coalitions along a number of indicators.

First, we will analyse the clientelist structures of the political parties, including tendencies of regionalism, religious and ethnic allegiances, and the business – politics nexus. Given the fact that the political parties in Bangladesh do not have any obligations to make their accounts public, and political party funds and funding remains a mystery, we will also take a look at party financing and party finance regulations.

Secondly, the study will look at the quality and extent of internal democracy in the Bangladeshi political parties. This includes procedures for the election of party leadership (party president, political leaders, election candidates and management) and to what extent the parties are otherwise responsive and representative.

Thirdly, we will analyse party institutionalisation. Internal structural aspects of institutionalisation include organisational complexity and diversity, geographical spread, formal rules and political programmes, membership and resources. External structural aspects of institutionalisation include independence and autonomy (from for instance the government and interest organisations), party support, and social roots. In addition, there is also the question of the parties’ ability to aggregate and articulate collective social preferences, and to transform these into practical policies, and to mobilise electoral support for their programmes and candidates.