Access to Urban Services in the Wave of Neoliberalism: A Study of the Urban Poor in Dhaka, Bangladesh

International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume II, Issue XI, November 2018 | ISSN 2454–6186

Access to Urban Services in the Wave of Neoliberalism: A Study of the Urban Poor in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Shamsul Arefin1*, Tamanna Rashid1

1Department of Sociology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University, Gopalganj-8100, Bangladesh
*Corresponding author: Shamsul Arefin

Abstract:-Dhaka city has become a highly unequal society where neoliberal economic restructuring is continuously depriving the urban poor from all sorts of urban services e.g. water, gas, electricity, sanitation, healthcare services as well as education. In this backdrop, this study is to explore the basic urban services given by different stakeholders to the poor in the wave of neoliberalism in Dhaka. Harvey’s ‘Neoliberalism as creative destruction’ (2007) and ‘Right to the City’ (2008) have been used to make the study theoretically vibrant. Mixed method strategies have been applied for conducting this study majorly followed by Survey counting 180 respondents as the sample which is supplemented by 6in-depth interviews. Pallabi slum at Mirpur-12 and Sat Tala slum at Mohakhali are considered as the study areas as most of the urban poor prefer living here because of relatively low costing than the other areas of the city. Descriptive analysis with statistical program and thematic analysis with necessary narratives of the subjects have been carried out for the analysis of the data. Study reveals that about 96.1% of the respondents have no access to land. On the other hand about 80.6%, 96.1% and 87.8% of the total respondents have access to water, electricity and gas supply respectively. Besides, about 77.8% and 55.6% of the total respondents have access to healthcare services and educational institutions in these areas. Although neoliberal state is withdrawing from its social commitments, the non-stake agencies especially private sectors are taking the responsibilities of various urban services.

Keywords: Urban Services, Neoliberalism, Urban Poor.


After the 1970s a new economic policy called ‘Neoliberalism’ was initiated to restore global economic crisis (Harvey, 2009). Around the world, it has been imposed by powerful financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the Inter- American Development Bank. And neoliberal state took the responsibility of creating a convenient atmosphere for the businessman so that they can do business.

Related Post