Urban Violence and Governance in Bangladesh

Dr Shahadat Hossain1
1Western Sydney University , Bankstown , Australia

The paper aims to explore the politics of urban violence in Bangladesh. It addresses privatization of the urban space and exclusion of the urban poor which make them often violent. It further explores the governance of urban violence by the neoliberal state. The paper is based on data collected from the city of Dhaka where millions of urban poor are struggling for shelters. It reveals that the urban poor are the victims of neoliberal urban development as they are being displaced from where they used to live as squatters for long period of time. Due to their poverty and marginality they are unable to get shelter nearby the places they were living. Many of them move to suburban Dhaka where they often struggle to get jobs. Neoliberal urban development often causes violence and protests in the city of Dhaka. It also reveals that neoliberal state uses security forces to evict the urban poor and compel them to move to the urban peripheries. However, the paper argues that increasing urban violence in the city of Dhaka is linked to the privatization of urban space and exclusion of the urban poor from neoliberal urban development. It further argues that the neoliberal state serves the interests of affluent and business people ignoring the right of the millions of urban poor to the city.


Shahadat Hossain completed his PhD in Sociology from the University of New South Wales, Australia. He is currently a visiting fellow in School of Humanities & Communication Arts at Western Sydney University, Australia. He also taught sociology in the University of Dhaka and the University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh. He is the author of the book Urban Poverty in Bangladesh: Slum Communities, Migration and Social Integration (IB Tauris, London).



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