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Marker of identity: religious political parties and welfare work - the case of Jama'at-i-Islami in Pakistan and Bangladesh

Bano, Masooda (2009) Marker of identity: religious political parties and welfare work - the case of Jama'at-i-Islami in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Working Paper. University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.

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URL of Published Version: http://www.religionsanddevelopment.org/files/resourcesmodule/@random454f80f60b3f4/1254137609_working_paper_34.pdf


Why do so many religious political parties have substantial welfare programmes? Is their welfare work merely a means of winning votes or does it serve other purposes? An investigation of the welfare programmes of the Jama'at-i-Islami parties in Pakistan and Bangladesh shows that they provide a wide range of charitable, welfare and service provision activities, including health care and training, education, emergency relief, water supply and orphan support. The claim that political parties are 'membership groups' that compete with other membership groups for citizens' loyalty and resources is borne out by this study. Rather than providing forums for public deliberation on the full range of issues on the public agenda, the religious political parties' emphasis on creating a cadre of ideologically committed members supports the argument that they are driven primarily by their religious ideology. Their engagement in welfare programmes is regarded as critical to their identity as parties and for mobilizing party members; the possibility that welfare provision might win votes is a less important motivation. This study shows that religious political parties are more complex organizations and have more complicated relationships with the state than is recognized by political theorists.

Type of Work:Monograph (Working Paper)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Number of Pages:35
Department:International Development Department
Additional Information:

ISBN: 0704427660 / 9780704427666

Projects:Religions and Development Research Programme
Series/Collection Name:RaD Working Papers Series
Keywords:Religion, Development, Religious Political Parties, Welfare, Pakistan, Bangladesh,
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Related URLs:
Copyright Status:University of Birmingham, 2009
Copyright Holders:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1569

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