Patron-Clientelism and Community Participation: Lessons From an Urban Poverty Alleviation Project in Bangladesh

Parvaz Azharul Huq


This paper explores the logic of patronage and its manifestation in a community-driven development project in two poor urban settlements in Bangladesh. It is seen from the case study that long-term patron-clientelistic relationship has been more dominant than a short-term based brokerage system due to the existing typical socio-political culture in Bangladesh. The exertion of patron-clientelistic relationship depends primarily on the community specific socio-political context. This paper opines that the presence of multi-political parties’ influence in a community reduces the dominance of patron-clientistic logic in shaping social relationship. This in turn contributes to a more meaningful participation.


Bangladesh; Community participation and patron-client relationship; Patron-clientelism

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