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Durham e-Theses
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Rural local government and state politics in Bangladesh

Nadiruzzaman, Md. (2008) Rural local government and state politics in Bangladesh. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Decentralization has become fashionable in governmental development of the third world. Theoretically, it is the shift of sovereign responsibilities that includes the planning, financing and management of certain public functions to field units of government agencies, subordinate units or levels of government, semi-autonomous public authorities or corporations, or area-wide regional or functional authorities. Unfortunately, Bangladesh became dysfunctional due to rampant political corruption and successive political crises since its independence. Every regime has formed a local government commission under different names, without giving much real effort to decentralising their powers to the local level. Accordingly, every regime has accused their predecessors of uncontrolled distortion. The post-liberation experience of the local government (LG) of Bangladesh suggests that the national government uses the local government bodies to strengthen its own power base in the name of decentralization. The present research asks whether the policy and the formation of different structures can achieve decentralisation. It engages in a number of theoretical, methodological and empirical debates on rural local government institutions. The history of LG in Bangladesh can be characterised as a British-invented and Pakistani-installed centrally controlled local hierarchical system. Thus, because of extreme political corruption and violence in every sphere of Bangladesh, the radical potential of civil society organisations is being appropriated and they are being used to fill gaps in service delivery, allowing the state to withdraw, which is justified by 'roll-back' neoliberalism. However, this thesis argues that the restoration of law and order and assurance of transparency are prerequisites of efficient local government. Again, endorsing the traditional informal institutions can reduce the pressure on government indifferent affairs like dispute resolution, social awareness, health and safety and so on. In addition, delegating responsibility for service provision to other quarters like NGOs and civil society can help to address the development concerns of the people, as well as capacity-building in local level institutions.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:2008
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:28

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