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A tale of three villages: power, difference and locality in rural Bangladesh

Lewis, David ORCID: 0000-0003-0732-9020 and Hossain, Abul (2008) A tale of three villages: power, difference and locality in rural Bangladesh. Journal of South Asian Development, 3 (1). pp. 33-51. ISSN 0973-1741

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Identification Number: 10.1177/097317410700300102


This article discusses a set of qualitative data collected in 2004 on changes in formal and informal aspects of local institutions and power in Bangladesh, drawn from three contrasting villages of Greater Faridpur district. It explores the idea that the rural power structure, previously conceived as relatively rigid ‘net’, is in certain ways becoming more open and less constraining to poor people. This loosening of the net takes different forms across the three contexts depending on locality. Each of the three villages is seen to experience a common set of wider institutional pressures from outside, such as increased levels of party politicisation within decentralising politics, different forms of intervention by non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and the attempted reform of mechanisms for local dispute settlement. However, the local trajectories of change in each village arising from such interventions is found to vary depending on local circumstances and conditions, as do the implications of change for addressing rural poverty.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2008 Sage
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2014 14:10
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 00:50

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