Petrus Joseph Joannes Maria (Peter) Custers

1949 –
international law, sociology, environmental studies, journalism
Bangladesh, Africa

Curriculum vitae

1970MA international law, Leiden University
1970-1973course in international relations at the Johns Hopkins University, Washington D.C.
journalist in Bangladesh for Dutch and international newspapers and magazines
1995PhD in sociology under the supervision of …, Nijmegen University
2007-2009affiliated fellow, researching on religious tolerance and the history of Bangladesh, at IIAS, Leiden
… – presentspecial European correspondent of the Bengali language daily Prothom Alo
… – presentinternational columnist of the English language newspaper The Daily Star, Bangladesh

Special activities and positions

  • Granted an award as Human Rights’ Defender and Friend of Bangladesh, by the government of Bangladesh, 2010
  • Participant in international campaigns such as Bangladesh, 1991-1997
  • Participant in the campaign questioning the World Bank-coordinated ‘Flood Action Plan’ (FAP) in Bangladesh
  • Participant in the campaign on trade liberalization and Africa (i.e. on ‘EPAs’), 2004-2007


Selected publications

Peter Custers wrote many publications on Africa, environment, arms, the philosophy of Antonio Gramsci and other subjects. Here, the publications that refer to South Asia and especially to Bangladesh are included only. For other publications, see his website. For his newspaper articles on Bangladesh in the period 1973-1975, see his journalism: the archives.
1986 “Women’s role in Tebhaga movement.” EPW 21,43: WS97-WS104.
– “Women’s role in the Tebhaga movement: an interview with Bimala Maji.” Manushi 6,2: 28-33.
1987 Women in Tebhaga uprising: rural poor women and revolutionary leadership, 1946-47 , Calcutta: Naya Prokash, 238 p.
1992 “Banking on a flood-free future? Flood mismanagement in Bangladesh.” Ecologist 22,5: 241-248.
– “Cyclones in Bangladesh: a history of mismanagement.” EPW 27,7: 327-329.
1993 “Bangladesh’s flood action plan: a critique.” EPW July 17-24. pdf
– “Conference on the flood action plan in Bangladesh.” European Parliament, May 27-28. pdf
1995 Capital accumulation and women’s labour in Asian economies , Nijmegen: Derde Wereld Centrum, 353 p. – PhD thesis Nijmegen University; revision London-New Delhi 1997; new edition New York: Monthly Review Press 2012. On Bangladesh: Chapter 6: Wage slavery among women garment workers under the factory system in Bangladesh. pdf
Chapter 8: Developmental feminism and peasant women’s labour in Bangladesh. pdf
1996 “Food security and flooding in Bangladesh.” The Ecologist, November/December. pdf
1998 “Rural intellectuals and the creation of Pakistan and Bangladesh.” Samachar: Magazine of the Bangladesh People’s Solidarity Centre 11,12. pdf
1999 “Introducing Maulana Bhashani: representative of an emancipatory Islam.” Samachar: Magazine of the Bangladesh People’s Solidarity Centre12,12. pdf
2000 “What perspective for people’s resistance in Bangladesh?” Arbetaren, April pdf
– “Introducing Gramscian concepts: towards a re-analysis of Bangladesh’s political history.”Aritro, quarterly magazine of Bangladeshis in Germany, October-December. – Summanry of Antonio Gramsci’s political theory. pdf
2002 “Today’s fundamentalist threat and the roots of secularism in Bangladesh.” Samachar, Magazine of the Bangladesh People’s Solidarity Centre13, May. pdf
– “Maulana Bhashan: reknowned politico-religious leader in the history of Bangladesh.” NETZ-Bangladesh, Jan. pdf
2005 Bangladesh: the other human rights’ report , report drafted on behalf of the Bangladesh Platform on Development Cooperation and Human Rights (Boom), the Netherlands, November/December. pdf
2006 Democracy and human rights in Bangladesh , report of the experts’ meeting on democracy and human rights in Bangladesh, The European Parliament, October 10, 2006. pdf
– “Secularism and religious tolerance: the historical experience of Bangladesh.” An exploratory essay, originally drafted towards theEuropean Conference on Modern South Asian Studies (ECMSAS), Leiden, the Netherlands, June 28, 2006. pdf
2008 “Secular democracy, socialism and Bhashani.” Frontier, Sept. 28 – Oct. 25. pdf
2009 “Climate catastrophe in Bangladesh: a burning political issue.” Holiday, June 19. pdf
– “ A different perspective on the U.S.-India nuclear deal.” Monthly Review September.
– “Islamic mysticism, religious tolerance and the history of Bangladesh.” New Age Nov. 12. – Text of the lecture presented at the Leiden University Institute for Religious Studies (LUIRS) on October 28, 2009. pdf
– “Bangladesh: legacy of secular nationalism revisited.” New Age Dec.06/07/08. – Second part of previous. pdf
2010 “Maulana Bhashani and the transition to secular politics in East Bengal.” Indian Economic and Social History Review 47,2: 231-259.
– “The legacy of Che Guevara: internationalism today, part 1.” New Age (Dakha, Bangladesh) 2010.02.23. pdf
– “The legacy of Che Guevara: internationalism today, part 2.” New Age (Dakha, Bangladesh) 2010.02.24. pdf
– “Biographical interview with Peter Custers.” Prothom Alo, July 10. pdf
2012 Moulana Bhashani: leader of the toiling masses: anthology on Bangladesh’s legendary Sufi sage and firebrand politician, New York: XLibris.
2013 “Sufism and the secular state: the South Asian experience.” IIAS Newsletter 66: 51.