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Exchanges of professionals between the public and non-governmental sectors: life-work histories from Bangladesh

By David Lewis


Using recently-collected ethnographic life history data, this paper analyses in historical context the shifting boundary between governmental and nongovernmental ‘worlds’ in Bangladesh. First, the paper explores the ways in which this boundary is an ambiguous one, and aims to show how it is constructed and maintained, through an analysis of new types of ‘boundary-crossing’ professionals who cross between the two sectors in the course of their career trajectories and their social relationships. Second, it suggests that such movements across this boundary throws light on changing professional identities in Bangladesh, such as what it means to work as a public servant or a development worker. Highachieving university graduates are now less likely to choose civil service careers than they once were, because new opportunities exist for them to work more flexibly as ‘non-governmental professionals’ in roles that may allow them to combine professional, consultant and activist identities

Topics: DS Asia, H Social Sciences (General), JQ Political institutions Asia
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1017/S0026749X09000092
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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