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Is voting patterns at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)a useful way to understand a country’s policy inclinations: Bangladesh’s voting records at the UNGA

Khan, M. Z. I. (2020) Is voting patterns at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)a useful way to understand a country’s policy inclinations: Bangladesh’s voting records at the UNGA. SAGE Open. ISSN 2158-2440 (In Press)

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/2158244020961117

Abstract/Summary

This article explores Bangladesh’s voting coincidences at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with China, India, Russia, and the United States for the period 2001–2018 to draw inferences about country’s political proximity and policy preferences on global issues. Although Bangladesh’s voting coincidence shifted from China toward India since 2013, country’s “opposite” votes with India remained 3 times higher compared with that of China, suggesting that the post-2013 change in voting coincidence is more about the types and content of the resolutions and not fundamental. Bangladesh maintained a principled position on disarmament, conventional arms control, nuclear nonproliferation, and prohibition of chemical weapons resolutions, which are greatly at odds with India and China. Such voting coherency suggests that the small developing countries can maintain a higher level of voting consistency on issues that are of great interest to them. However, Bangladesh’s voting inconstancy in the country-specific human rights resolutions reflects a selective adherence to the policy of non-interference, particularly with respect to neighbors. Bangladesh’s voting records on the human rights situation in Myanmar, reveals that it joined the majority member states condemning Myanmar only when the resolutions started mentioning Bangladesh as an affected country. Although the voting coincidence alone may not capture the whole dynamics of a state’s leanings, this article has revealed that systematic research of UNGA voting records has the capacity to add to the knowledge of political proximity and policy preferences of states in terms of the way they weigh their choices and chart their path through idealism and opportunism.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:92845
Publisher:Sage

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