Democratic culture and participatory local governance in Bangladesh

Wahed Waheduzzaman, Quamrul Alam

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10 Citations (Scopus)


The government of Bangladesh has introduced several initiatives seeking to develop participatory governance at the local level in order to maximise the outcomes of aid-assisted development projects. This article examines the impact of these initiatives and demonstrates that participatory local governance faces a number of challenges in Bangladesh, in particular, absence of democratic culture and tradition and disengagement of citizens, asymmetric distribution of patronage and weak institutions. In theory, political elites and bureaucrats in Bangladesh advocate democracy, accountability and local-level participation, but in practice, they have an affinity for power and centralised authority. Their reform initiatives seem half-hearted and disjointed restricting the growth of democratic culture and participatory local governance at the local level in Bangladesh.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260 - 279
Number of pages20
JournalLocal Government Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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