PhD graduate M. Omar Faruque on the links between neoliberal governance and social movements in Bangladesh

January 25, 2019 by Sherri Klassen

PhD graduate M. Omar Faruque published an article in the Social Movement Studies.  The article analyzes the connection between national energy policy development in Bangladesh and the social movement that contested it.

M. Omar Faruque will receive his PhD in June, 2019. He successfully defended his dissertation entitled, Mining Capitalism and Contentious Politics in Bangladesh this January.

We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below. The full text is available through the University of Toronto library portal here.

M. Omar Faruque (2017) Neoliberal resource governance and counter-hegemonic social movement in Bangladesh, Social Movement Studies, 16:2, 254-259, DOI: 10.1080/14742837.2016.1268957


Bangladesh’s energy sector institutionalized neoliberal policies in the early 1990s after a decade long implementation of structural adjustment policies suggested by the World Bank. These policies strengthened the role of foreign private capital and reduced the role of public enterprises. In spite of the country’s success in exploring and developing petroleum resources, the World Bank pushed for policy reforms to reduce the role of state-owned companies. Bangladesh signed several production sharing contracts with multinational energy corporations during 1993–1998. This resulted in the development of a counter-hegemonic social movement, the National Committee. Its activists made the energy sector the most contested national policy domain. Its direct action programs and other mobilization tactics transformed Bangladesh’s public sphere vis-à-vis energy politics. The National Committee caused the government to reverse its decision in some cases, but is far from achieving its main goal: increasing the capability of national institutions to maintain full ownership in natural resource management. Notwithstanding this limitation, the National Committee is a fascinating case of a counter-movement in the Global South contesting neoliberal resource appropriation..