Patron-Client Politics and the Rise of the Business Class

  • Mohammad Dulal Miah
  • Yasushi Suzuki


In a typical patron-client relation, the patron provides clients with the privileged access to state-sponsored properties in exchange for their support to the clients. Assuming that economic actors maximize their own benefits, such a patron-client relation is an equilibrium outcome under the prevailing political institutions. This chapter discusses this issue in detail in the context of Bangladesh. It has been shown that the country’s industrial policy has failed to create a broad base of industrial sector. Some family-based conglomerates which have their roots in the British or Pakistan period are still dominating the industrial sector. In postindependent Bangladesh, government nationalization policy hindered the growth of private enterprises to a great extent. Improper privatization policies, which nurtured mainly nepotism and cronyism, have failed miserably to develop a diverse industrial sector, which, in turn, resulted in a small and concentrated business class. Given the embedded weakness of the political parties, the business sector squeezes undue benefits out of state’s weakness. Various evidences are provided to support this argument.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Dulal Miah
    • 1
  • Yasushi Suzuki
    • 2
  1. 1.University of NizwaBirkat Al MawzOman
  2. 2.Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific UniversityBeppuJapan

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