The Role of Fatalism in Resilience to Food Price Volatility in Bangladesh

Volume 46 Number 6
Published: November 15, 2015
Millions of people in Bangladesh suffer from hunger, unpredictable and unstable livelihoods, precarious living conditions and social injustice. Yet they survive and become resilient. However, the resilience achieved by the poor is minimal and incremental in nature and does not result in their wellbeing. Based on three years of qualitative research, this article attempts to understand the nature of and pathways to ‘resilience of the poor people'. The article argues that poor people's approach to ‘resilience’ is twofold. First, they perceive their poverty and associated problems as ‘Allah's will', with not much to be done about it. At the same time, they engage in continuous innovative practices to survive. These two worldviews together ('fatalism’ and ‘self-help') make the poor ‘resilient'. This also ‘partially’ explains the absence of strong activism, collective action and protests within a context of state failure (in terms of ensuring rights and entitlements to its citizens).


  • Food security
  • food prices
From Issue: Vol. 46 No. 6 (2015) | Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility