In This Review

Politics and Development in the Caribbean Basin: Central America and the Caribbean in the New World Order
Politics and Development in the Caribbean Basin: Central America and the Caribbean in the New World Order
By Jean Grugel
Indiana University Press, 1995, 224 pp
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Grugel, a lecturer in politics at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, has produced a first-rate introduction to the development dilemmas confronting the peoples of the Caribbean and Central America. In lucid prose, she looks into the workings of would-be revolutionary regimes in the region as well as the struggles for structural adjustment advocated by the new liberalism. At the book's core are the author's worries that advocates of development strategies often ignore "specific regional problems: for example economies which, in some cases, lack--for geographical or historical reasons--an export sector beyond commodities of declining value such as sugar." In addition, she argues that development strategists fail to address the problems of external dependency, "acute in a region fragmented in geographical, historical, ethnic and linguistic terms, and located on the fringes of the U.S. mainland." The book will enlighten general readers with an interest in the politics of geopolitical and economic dependency. And for appreciating the remaining difficulties facing small nations attempting equitable and harmonious development, it will remind Caribbean and Central American specialists just how valuable a good comparative analysis can be.