Essays on the Theory of Plantation Economy

Essays on the Theory of Plantation Economy

A Historical and Institutional Approach to Caribbean Economic Development

by Lloyd Best and Kari Polanyi Levitt

280 pages

  • Paperback
  • ISBN: 9789766402112
  • Published: January 2009

$45.00

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This important book provides a fascinating insight into the conceptual underpinnings of the theory of plantation economy initiated by Lloyd Best and Kari Levitt in the 1960s as a basis for analysing the nature of the Caribbean economy. While acknowledging an intellectual debt to Latin American structuralists and also to the work of Dudley Seers and William Demas, the authors develop an original analytical framework as a counter to more “universalist” models which failed to take account of the Caribbean reality. Their work identifies the main features of the plantation economy as a hinterland characterized by subordination and dependency on the dominant metropole. Distinguishing between hinterlands of conquest, settlement and exploitation, Best and Levitt analyse the rules that determine this complex relationship with the metropole. Their economic theories are presented against a background of the historical factors that gave rise to the “structural continuity” of Caribbean economies and which now impede meaningful structural transformation.