Paradoxes of institutionalisation: the depoliticisation of Bangladeshi NGOs
Through an analysis of how Bangladeshi NGOs have become institutionalised, the author examines patterns of bureaucratisation and professionalisation to argue that NGOs are part of a process of incorporation that mediates opposition to gender and other structural inequalities. Two important tendencies–the growing partnership between NGOs, the state, and donor agencies, and the discursive shift from social welfare and redistribution to individualism, entrepreneurship, and self-reliance–exemplify these processes. The paper shows how institutionalisation, accompanied by the conflation of civil society and NGOs, masks the loss of member-citizens’ voices, channelling opposition through NGOs in ways that often compromise their interests.
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