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Poverty Reduction Strategy in BangladeshRethinking participation in policy making$
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Palash Kamruzzaman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447305699

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447305699.001.0001

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Is a comprador class being created?

Is a comprador class being created?

(p.143) CHAPTER FIVE Is a comprador class being created?
Poverty Reduction Strategy in Bangladesh

Palash Kamruzzaman

Policy Press

Chapter Five questions the role of civil society representatives and the formation of an interest group (who intermediate the process of policy formulation as ‘experts’) and argues that this has been a major obstacle in traditional anti-poverty policies. The intermediary process by this group (often representing the middle class and national bourgeoisie) in operationalising an external development framework has been theoretically described from ‘compradors’ to ‘agents of foreign imperialism’ who act ‘against the interest of the national economy’. Throughout this process, hegemony is interrelated in complex ways to cooperation, co-optation, and coercion. In the Bangladesh context, to produce a development policy according to donors’ wishes, political leaders and the elites generally depend on bureaucrats’ and consultants’ expertise. Participation by civil society, then, is used as a cloak by this group, which can supersede alternative voices. The bureaucrats and consultants can either prepare policies as asked by donors and the government, and can benefit from the process (in an apparent win-win situation), or they can refrain from doing so, which is very difficult, in a politically hierarchical society like Bangladesh.

Keywords:   policy consultants, policy formulation experts, hegemony, comprador class, parroting

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