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The Aid LabUnderstanding Bangladesh’s Unexpected Success$
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Naomi Hossain

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198785507

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198785507.001.0001

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Bangladesh’s Surprising Success

Bangladesh’s Surprising Success

(p.3) 1 Bangladesh’s Surprising Success
The Aid Lab

Naomi Hossain

Oxford University Press

Bangladesh plays an important ideological role in the world order: the story of its development is told as a parable of the success bred by an early and sustained commitment to economic liberalism. Bangladesh is now fêted for its advances in human development that far outstrip its meagre natural resource endowment. Chapter 1 of The Aid Lab sets out an argument about how this came about, arguing that its politics, and not its open-market policies, were central. Early on, a social contract between the elites, the masses, and their aid donors prioritized protecting the population against crises of subsistence and survival. On these foundations, human development policies and engagement in the global and local economy enabled its vast impoverished population to build more resilient livelihoods. But while the outcomes of this nation-sized experiment are celebrated, the means were not always pretty.

Keywords:   the Bangladesh Paradox, human development, economic development, politics of development, aid dependency, subsistence crises, famine, globalization

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