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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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The Elites, the Masses, and Their Donors

The Elites, the Masses, and Their Donors

(p.50) 3 The Elites, the Masses, and Their Donors
The Aid Lab

Naomi Hossain

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the relations between the Bangladeshi elites, the masses, and their aid donors. It focuses on the nature and dimensions of the social contract between these groups, an effective agreement to protect the masses against crises of subsistence and survival which emerged in the wake of the 1974 famine. It starts with an explanation of what is meant by a ‘social contract’ in this setting, arguing that this remains a useful concept even if the contract is one of domination, as opposed to the assumptions of liberal political philosophy. It goes on to analyse the nature of the mutual interests and interactions between these distinct yet connected actors in the Bangladesh development story.

Keywords:   political elites, elite–mass relations, class relations, social mobility, sociology of aid, aid relations, aid dependence, industrial relations, readymade garment (RMG), social contract

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