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Local political consolidation in Bangladesh: power, informality and patronage

Lewis, David ORCID: 0000-0003-0732-9020 and Hossain, Abul (2022) Local political consolidation in Bangladesh: power, informality and patronage. Development and Change, 53 (2). 356 - 375. ISSN 0012-155X

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Identification Number: 10.1111/dech.12534


During the past decade Bangladesh has shifted from a competitively clientelistic two‐party system towards a dominant‐party democracy. This article analyses how the ruling party has consolidated partisan political control at the local level. Using qualitative field data from 2004 and 2016, and drawing on a post‐structural analysis of the state, it shows how this extension of power has been achieved locally through interaction between formal and informal political initiatives. Four main types of informal activity are documented, through which the extent of local political competition has been reduced: circumvention, capture, brokerage and the creation of new organizations. These insights into the changing nature of Bangladesh's long‐standing partisan politics highlight how the state's capacity to deliver local services, allocate resources and maintain stability has been enhanced through the ruling party's control of local government structures, its elimination of political opposition, and its reshaping of local patronage arrangements.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 The Authors
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2019 08:54
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2024 07:36

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