Livelihoods Limitations: The Political Economy of Urban Poverty in Bangladesh

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Research in Bangladesh reveals the limitations of actor-oriented frameworks for understanding urban poverty that assess household livelihoods on thebasis of a household’s portfolio of assets or capitals. The narrow focus of these frameworks on households and their depoliticized de�nition of social capital overlook the political roots of urban poverty. The informal systems of governance that dominate resource distribution within low-income settlements ensure that the social resources necessary for long-term household improvement are con�ned to a small elite. Only through extending our analysis beyond the household level, to explore their position within this local political economy of employment and enterprise, can we recognize the limitations placed on household efforts to improve their livelihoods.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDevelopment and Change
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • urban poverty; employment; Dhaka; Bangladesh

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute


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