Introduction - understanding and practice. Part 1 Class formation and universal rural development models: exploitation and the rural poor; rural class formation in Bangladesh 1940-80; rural development in Bangladesh - whose framework?; women and gender. Part 2 Landless participation in agricutlure growth: rural development and patterns of agricultural development; the rural poor in Bangladesh - a new framework?; provision of irrigation services by the landless - an approach to agrarian reform in Bangladesh; the social framework of rural exchange in Bangladesh; agrarian entrepreneurialism in Bangladesh. Part 3 Rural works: development or welfare: landless labour participation and mobilization in rural works programmes; target strike back - rural works claimants in Bangladesh; rural infrastructure and social relations - the intensive rural works programme in Bangladesh; plunder without danger - avoiding responsibility in rural works administration in Bangladesh. Part 4 Fish and poverty: off the page into the pond - fish extension strategies; open water bodies and capture fishery - the poverty of policy. Part 5 Strategies with the poor: government approaches towards the rural poor in Bangladesh; sirs and sahibs - government and technical assistance relations in rural development projects; philosophies of economic change - three EIG models; NGOs and the theory of struggle; target groups and the resource profile approach; Part 6 Good governance and the franchise state: parallel rationalities in service provision - the general use of corruption; states without citizens - the problem of the franchise state. Conclusion: strategic dilemmas.