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Siddiqi, Kamal Uddin (1980) The political economy of rural poverty in Bangladesh. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Poverty studies in the Third World, in general, and in Bangladesh, in particular, have been mostly concerned with the measurement of poverty, and far less with its explanation. In this study, the explicit concern has been to delineate the processes which cause, aggravate and maintain poverty in rural. Bangladesh. The analysis that follows has been conducted at three levels. It seeks, firstly, to delineate the forces within the agrarian structure responsible for rural poverty. Secondly, it examines the urban forces contributing to rural poverty. Finally, it tries to establish the international dimensions of rural poverty. For the first set of forces, primary data were generated through a single village intensive study (lasting for more than a year), while for the latter two levels, secondary data have been used. The analytical framework of the study has been based on the Marxist concepts of "mode of production" and "socio-economic formation". The major findings of the study are as follows: Firstly, natural disasters and lack of resources as causes of poverty are untenable. Secondly, there is no simple, one-way relationship between poverty and population growth. Thirdly, and most important, there is a strong convergence of interests among the rural rich, the urban rich and metropolitan forces; and it is this chain of forces, which, despite the expressed objectives of the Bangladesh state and its international aid donors, not only accounts for extremely inequitable distribution of the available social product but also militates against productive utilisation of the surplus generated. Finally, the existing superstructure, both local and central, also stands in the way of any change taking place in the existing economic relations in the rural society. The implications of the study axe quite clear, namely that without fundamental changes in the existing power and property relations and surplus extraction and utilisation characteristics, it is well-nigh impossible to eradicate poverty of the scale and dimensions that engulfs contemporary rural Bangladesh. However, it was found that the ingredients required to bring about such a change were lacking, and in particular, the consciousness and activities of the rural poor were as yet far removed from the idea and practice of such a change.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 14:59

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