Author Affiliation, Ana.
Grenada: A testing ground for Lewis's 'balanced development' perspectives
Social and Economic Studies
Date of Publication
The practical collapse of the Grenadian economy and the widespread damage to property experienced by most Grenadians after Hurricane Ivan, presents an unusual situation for testing theoretical perspectives on economic development in small states. It is rare that a natural disaster has such a totalizing effect on economic, social and political life as was experienced in Grenada and, before it, Montserrat after its volcanic eruption. This paper proposes to revisit Arthur Lewis's theoretical perspectives on economic growth and 'balanced development', particularly against attempts to take a fresh look at the challenges of economic development in small states, reflected in attempts to introduce the element of environmental vulnerability, to already established notions of economic vulnerability. The paper, which represents an initial foray into what is meant to be a broader analysis of post-hurricane Ivan and the challenges it, presents to Grenada's development, raises more questions than it answers. Specifically, it treats the collapse of tourism and export crops (cocoa and nutmeg) as a virtual tabula rasa for constructing a new kind of economic platform. It raises questions as to whether it is possible, whatever the economic model chosen, for a small state to survive a natural disaster on the scale of Hurricane Ivan; what opportunities and challenges such a disaster provides for reconstructing a more 'modern' economy; and what is the interrelationship between economics and politics in terms of who would define such a model and what implications this has for democracy. Its particular focus is on the agricultural sector and its role in economic development.....