Dr. Geoffrey Macdonald is a visiting expert on South Asia at USIP.

Dr. Macdonald is also a senior advisor in the Asia-Pacific division at the International Republican Institute (IRI), where he currently focuses on research and program strategy in Asia. Previously, Dr. Macdonald was IRI’s Bangladesh country director, overseeing the design, implementation, evaluation and financial management of U.S. government-funded programs on civil society capacity building, youth civic education, minority rights, political party strengthening, and countering violent extremism. Dr. Macdonald has also taught political science at George Washington University, Grinnell College and other institutions.

Dr. Macdonald’s research focuses on political and extremist violence, democratic design, conflict management, and comparative politics with a regional focus on Bangladesh and South Asia. He holds a doctorate from the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies and was awarded a Fulbright research scholarship to India in 2012-2013.

Dr. Macdonald’s writing has been published by the Journal of Democracy, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, the Council on Foreign Relations, and various other academic and policy outlets.

Publications By Geoffrey

What Does Bangladesh’s Upcoming Election Mean for its Foreign Policy?

What Does Bangladesh’s Upcoming Election Mean for its Foreign Policy?

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

By: Geoffrey Macdonald, Ph.D.

Bangladesh is getting more international attention for two very different reasons. Domestically, Bangladesh’s tumultuous political situation ahead of the January 7 parliamentary elections has elicited global scrutiny. The United States, through its rhetoric and actions, has led international actors pushing Bangladesh to improve its democratic processes and calling for dialogue to resolve the current political impasse, which has often received harsh retorts from the Awami League (AL) government. Countering Western pressure, Russia and China have condemned U.S. “meddling” while India has called the upcoming polls an “internal matter.”

Type: Analysis

Democracy & GovernanceGlobal Policy

Ahead of Election, Bangladesh’s Political Turmoil Spills into the Streets

Ahead of Election, Bangladesh’s Political Turmoil Spills into the Streets

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

By: Geoffrey Macdonald, Ph.D.

With Bangladesh’s parliamentary elections set for early January, the opposition’s push for the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the installation of an interim election-time government has reached its crescendo — sending the country’s streets and politics into tumult in the process. With no sign of political compromise in sight, Bangladesh’s January elections will likely do little to repair its deep political divisions.

Type: Analysis

Democracy & Governance

Bangladesh: Survey Reveals Premier Remains Popular Despite Growing Public Discontent

Bangladesh: Survey Reveals Premier Remains Popular Despite Growing Public Discontent

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

By: David Hoogstra;  Geoffrey Macdonald, Ph.D.

Political tension is rising in Bangladesh ahead of the country’s next round of national elections, due by January 2024. The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is boycotting elections to extract concessions from the government on election management; rampant inflation is increasing citizens’ daily struggles; and both the BNP and ruling Awami League (AL) are holding large rallies across the country to mobilize their supporters. Yet in this tumultuous political scenario, there is little publicly available polling to understand the state of race.

Type: Analysis

Democracy & GovernanceEconomics

Three Things to Watch as Bangladesh’s National Election Season Heats Up

Three Things to Watch as Bangladesh’s National Election Season Heats Up

Thursday, June 15, 2023

By: Geoffrey Macdonald, Ph.D.

Bangladesh is increasingly recognized as an important player in Indo-Pacific competition, but its tumultuous domestic politics are now drawing attention with parliamentary elections due by January 2024. Economic crisis and opposition mobilization threaten to unseat the ruling Awami League (AL), which faces escalating American pressure to prove its democratic credentials after 15 years in power. The primary opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), is currently boycotting the next national contest until Bangladesh’s election administration is reformed. On the streets, violence is rising between and within parties while voter disillusion has grown amid years of political intransigence.

Type: Analysis

Democracy & Governance

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