Economic Development in the Caribbean

Economic Development in the Caribbean

Economic Development in the Caribbean

Economic Development in the Caribbean


In recent years, Canada's defense posture has been dominated by a debate as to its foreign policy and role in the structure of Western defense. This little volume is an excellent review of the state of current defense policy in Canada. In four tightly argued essays, the authors, who are academic specialists, not only cover the issues well but also make a case for an increased commitment to defense expenditure.... [This] commentary will be of interest to defense and foreign affairs specialists and to students of the Western alliance and Canadian-American relations." - Choice


The chapters in this volume cover the primary and significant aspects of development problems and policies in the Caribbean. Some of them were originally prepared for publication in journals or other volumes, and they have now been rewritten, updated, and revised, where appropriate, to reflect current trends and policies. They present comparative analyses of economic growth and change with particular reference to the Commonwealth Caribbean nations of Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago -- the so-called more-developed Caribbean countries, whose socioeconomic structure tends to mirror, though on a somewhat larger scale, that of the smaller developing countries in the region.

The economies of the Caribbean Basin have, in the past, been more or less neglected in the international literature. Some attempts were made by a few Caribbeanists and research institutes to rectify the situation, but output has always been, and continues to be, hampered by the lack of financial support for such research, even from the Caribbean governments and agencies that have a vested interest in such research.

The idea for this book emerged, therefore, from a recognition of the paucity of book-length studies on Caribbean economic development as well as the current international interest in the Caribbean countries. Both of those reasons prompted my colleagues to encourage me to revise and compile some of my papers into a comprehensive book on the Caribbean economy. I accepted the challenge and worked intermittently on the project from 1983 to 1985.

The approach taken in this book follows from my experience with, and comparative study of, development policy in the Caribbean. My experience has convinced me that one of the most serious problems in the formulation of sound economic policy is the extent to which Caribbean politicians and their advisers understate or ignore the real costs of using a purely ideological framework to achieve developmental goals. The majority of Caribbean leaders placed inordinate faith in the power of ideology to provide them with the key to development. But development has been elusive, to say the least, and some Caribbean countries have succumbed to economic crisis and are now chained to dismal prospects, making survival a matter of priority and a stark reality. Those Caribbean nations that have managed to escape have done so by virtue of their effective management and/or by de-emphasizing ideology in their economic policy. Consequently, I have come to the conclusion that had policy-makers been aware of some of the consequences of their decisions, the policy choices would have been different and the decisions would have been better ones for . . .

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