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Prospects for Rural Regional Development in the De-Agrarianizing Rural Bangladesh.

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Title:Prospects for Rural Regional Development in the De-Agrarianizing Rural Bangladesh.
Authors:Momen, Saiful
Contributors:Urban and Regional Planning (department)
Date Issued:May 2017
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:Poverty, lack of opportunities, and general socio-economic malaise have become characteristic features of the rural areas in the contemporary low-income world. Amid such a reality, a rarely asked policy question becomes important: Where do rural areas --- their economies and societies --- fit in the road map to a poverty-free world? Contemporary development policy in the mainstream has become somewhat oblivious to this question. Rather the main thrust of recent development policy has been around (a) sectoral development projects such as the ones in agriculture, fisheries and other sectors, (b) macroeconomic policy reform, and (c) large infrastructure projects, often in megacities. Underlying these development interventions is an acceptance of a rural-urban dichotomy in economy and geographic space. This dissertation through an extensive literature survey starts with the position that important synergies are missed in the countryside by separate planning of towns and rural areas. Rather rural regions, comprising both rural areas and towns as an integral part in them, need to be the planning unit.
However, policy models for rural regional development, especially in an agrarian setting, are rare. Even as many rural regions continue to de-agrarianize, and at the same time suffer stasis, new models are hard to come by. This dissertation through an extensive review of literature on development policy experience of the past half a century identifies three equally important cornerstones of rural regional development: (a) rural regional productivity increase, (b) capturing as much of the multiplier effect of the economic activities within the rural region as possible, and (c) removal of the historical agrarian and other institutions that encourage leakage from the rural economy, and restrict access of the poor and the disadvantaged to economic opportunities. To what extent these can be achieved is determined by the recent changes in the global economic forces, nature of agrarian transition in a given region, rural regional political economy, and the nature of the state. Rural areas are de-agrarianizing, and getting connected to the larger economic processes beyond their borders. Often these changes are not increasing the life chances of the households in rural regions.
This dissertation, through the study of a rural region in the southeast of Bangladesh, identifies some concrete processes and institutions that stand in the way households’ ability to attain prosperity. Some of the major processes identified are elite capture of state apparatus, emigration
and consumptive use of the consequent remittance, delinking of the towns from the economic activities of the rural hinterland, rapid de-agrarianization of the rural economy, and the lack of pro-poor infrastructure. The study helps to identify an outline and some tools of rural regional planning.
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2017.
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Urban and Regional Planning

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