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The Dynamics of Industrial Development in a Resource-Rich Developing Society: A Political Economy Analysis

Keston Perry ()

Journal of Developing Societies, 2018, vol. 34, issue 3, 264-296

Abstract: This article criticizes the resource curse thesis for neglecting the interplay of international factors and domestic politics, that is the political settlement, in explaining industrial performance in a resource-dependent society – Trinidad and Tobago. Using political settlement, analysis secondary as well as interview data, it examines the dynamics at the macro and sectoral levels in iron and steel and telecommunications in Trinidad and Tobago. The historical evidence reveals that anti-colonial mobilizations spurred critical public investments in developmental institutions and industrial projects responsible for improving the country’s productive base and technological capability in the post- Black Power period. These investments were bolstered by a favorable geopolitical climate and the 1973 commodity boom. Sectoral case studies reveal how shifts in the country’s political settlement affected late-industrializing accumulation of accumulation technological capabilities. Hereafter neoliberal policies facilitated an increased role for external actors in economic policy and ethnic-based clientelism within the political economy.

Keywords: Political settlement analysis; developing countries; technological capability; industrialization; resource curse thesis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:sae:jodeso:v:34:y:2018:i:3:p:264-296