Framework: Religion, Secularism, and Democracy

  • Md Nazrul Islam
  • Md Saidul IslamEmail author


This chapter covers the theoretical and conceptual framework. This study draws on several sociological theories such as secularization theory and its paradigms, modalities of secularism, and Weberian sociology of religion. Secularization theory and modalities (multiple types) of secularism are significant in grasping the sociopolitical and cultural dynamics of Bangladesh. Bangladesh as an independent country started out by practicing secularism. However, within a short space of time, secularism was eroded and Islamization gradually took its place. Both state and non-state actors contributed to the erosion of secularism and the preponderance of Islamization in the country. Secularization theory is relevant to explain this phenomenon. Modalities of secularism have helped us understand the type of secularism Bangladesh has been practicing over the years. To understand the practice of Islamism alongside secularism in Bangladesh’s democracy, the theory of secularism has been deemed pertinent. Weberian sociology of religion is also deemed important in the case of explaining the role of Islamic traditions in promoting democracy and pluralism in Bangladesh. Apart from the theoretical frameworks, this study also employs several conceptual threads such as democracy. In order to garner a deeper understanding of the concept of democracy, this study has employed the conceptual threads that include “polyarchy” and “hybridity of democracy.”


Secularization theory Religion Democracy Islamism Pluralism Polyarchy 


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political StudiesShahjalal University of Science and TechnologySylhetBangladesh
  2. 2.Division of SociologyNanyang Technological UniversityJurongSingapore

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