The Political Economy of NGOs

The Political Economy of NGOs : State Formation in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

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This book explores the paradoxical relationship between NGOs and capitalism, showing that supposedly progressive organisations often promote essentially the same policies and ideas as existing governments.

It examines how a diverse group of NGOs have shaped state formation in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It argues that, rather than influencing state formation for the better, NGOs have been integrated into the capitalist system and their language adopted to give traditional exploitative social relations a transformative appearance.

This enlightening study will give pause to those who see NGOs as drivers of true social change and will encourage students of development studies to make a deeper analysis of state formation.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 134.62 x 210.82 x 22.86mm | 521.63g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745321712
  • 9780745321714
  • 2,312,598

Table of contents



Introduction: Beyond the Impasse: Theorising Social Change

1. The Emergence of the Unified Nation State: Pre-Colonial NGOs in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka:.

2. Welfare State to National Security State: The Post-Independence NGO-State Relations in Sri Lanka, 1948-2010

3. Secularism, Religion and Parallel States: The Post-Independence NGO-State Relations in Bangladesh, 1971-2010

4. The NGO Industrial Complex: Modernising Post-Modernity


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Review quote

'The best critique of NGOs as 'Third Sector' institutions available' -- Richard Peet, Professor of Geography, Clark University, author of Geography of Power: The Making of Global Economic Policy (2007) 'This grittily detailed and sophisticated comparison of myriad NGOs in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka makes us all smarter as we try to figure out under exactly what conditions NGO activities undermine or contribute to genuine democratisation anywhere' -- Cynthia Enloe, author of Nimo's War, Emma's War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War 'At last, we have a theoretically informed and historically grounded account of one of the defining features of the contemporary world - the rise of non-governmental organisations' -- David Lewis, Professor of Social Policy and Development, London School of Economics & Political Science
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About Jude L. Fernando

Jude L. Fernando is Associate Professor of International Development, Clark University. He has edited many books including Rethinking Sustainable Development (SAGE, 2003), Microfinance: Perils and Prospects (Routledge, 2005) and The Political Economy of NGOs (Pluto, 2011).
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