In recent years, urban sociology, examining Third World metropolises, has attracted the attention and interest both of academies and policymakers, especially because of the increasing pressures of population growth, poverty and environmental degradation. Social Formation in Dhaka City, is therefore, a welcome and timely addition to the growing body of empirical research in this extremely important field. Divided into eight chapters, the book is a pioneering work both in content and methodology. Thus, for the first time, we have a book on present day Dhaka city that (a) analyses the salient characteristics of its major classes and groups of people and places them in a historical perspective, (b) delineates their inter-relationships and interactions, and (c) identifies the change agents amongst them. In conducting this study, the authors not only combined several surveys with other research methods, but also made innovations, where necessary. There is no doubt that this book challenges conventional wisdom, shatters myths, raises controversies, and contributes a new body of knowledge on contemporary Dhaka city. It is precisely for this reason that this book will be useful for urban sociologists, policymakers, change agents, and general readers interested in Third World urban social formations.
Kamal Siddiqui is a leading authority on local government in South Asia. Educated in the Universities of Dhaka, Leeds and London, he combines in him solid academic work with the practical experience of a civil servant, working at both grassroots as well as highest levels of policy-making and monitoring policy implementation. His important publications in the field include Megacity Governance in South Asia: A Comparative Study (Dhaka: UPL, 2004), Overcoming the Governance Crisis in Dhaka City (Dhaka: UPL, 2000), Local Governance in Bangladesh: Leading Issues and Major Challenges (Dhaka: UPL, 2000) and Local Government in South Asia: A Comparative Study (Dhaka: UPL, 1992; a Chinese translation of the book was brought out by the Ministry of Civil Affairs of China