Class, complicity & capitalist ambition in Dhaka’s elite enclaves

Gilbert, Paul Robert (2018) Class, complicity & capitalist ambition in Dhaka’s elite enclaves. Focaal, 2018 (81). pp. 43-57. ISSN 0920-1297

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This article draws on ethnographic work carried out in London and Dhaka as part of a multi-sited project exploring the production of investment opportunities for (predominantly British) companies in Bangladesh. Focusing on the Ready-Made Garment sector in the run up to, and wake of, the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse, I trace aid-funded attempts to improve Bangladesh’s investment climate, engagements with these initiatives by brokers seeking to “rebrand” Bangladesh as an investment destination, and by RMG factory-owning businesspeople based in Dhaka. Writing against the ‘postcritical turn’, I suggest that responding to the explicit recognition by business elites of their own complicity in the exploitation of garment workers provides an entry point for a critical account of private-sector development that enhances, not curtails, ethnographic understanding.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Bangladesh, complicity, critique, development, investment climate, Rana Plaza
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Development
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology > GN406 Cultural traits, customs, and institutions > GN448 Economic organisation. Economic anthropology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD0072 Economic development. Development economics. Economic growth
Depositing User: Paul Robert Gilbert
Date Deposited: 31 May 2018 12:04
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2018 12:04

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