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Title: Decentralisation and rural society in Bangladesh : a study of bureaucratic constraints on access in the Upazila structure
Author: Rahman, Mohammad Habibur
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1994
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As contradictions between the theory and reality of decentralisation have intensified in recent years, the spirit of local government reform gradually waned in the Third World. The idea put forward by its advocates that decentralisation could mark the beginning of end of the bureaucratic rule has not been substantiated. It also appears from current studies that participation in local development has not increased in the post-colonial countries. On the contrary, the process of centralisation and bureaucratisation re-surfaced to serve the political and economic interests of the central and local elites. The adoption of the models of devolution, which many writers expected would bring positive results, failed to make a breakthrough in these countries. The issue often avoided by the protagonists in explaining the problems of development is that of the political economy of the rural society. The sceptics, however, argue that the class structure has a great deal to do with the failure of decentralisation policies in the Third World. Borrowing ideas from the available literature on access and decentralisation, one can ascertain this assumption. Local government in Bangladesh has its genetic origin in the pre-colonial ancient period. However, it grew up as a crippled child during British imperial rule. After years of experiments during the Pakistan and post-independence period, decentralisation failed to ensure people's participation in the development process. These reforms were politically motivated and aimed to strengthen the local support-base of the ruling regimes. In 1982, a major local government reform was launched with the introduction of the upazila parishad (sub-district council), which, before its abolition in 1991, attracted the interest of many national and international quarters for its ostensibly democratic structure and lofty promises towards the principles of participation, access and redistribution of resources. However, the impact of the upazila administration on redistribution and participation is disappointing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available