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Caribbean Development

In: Social Issues

Submitted By milid1231
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Caribbean Development: An Overview

Paul Sutton *

Development is generally recognised as a complex multifaceted process of economic, social, political, environmental and cultural change, which results in increases in the well-being of people and extends their rights and choices in the present without compromising the abilities of future generations to enjoy these benefits. In the Caribbean the economic, social and political elements of development have held centre stage in the last fifty years. Typically they have been (and are) represented in the form of rising incomes (greater Gross Domestic Product per capita), social progress (improved welfare through education and health programmes and gender equality) and political freedoms (independence, administrative efficiency and democracy). In the last fifteen years environmental issues have slowly risen on the development agenda as well as, more recently, cultural issues such as artistic expression and various forms of identity.

Any exploration of development in the region is therefore very wide. The focus of this paper is on the traditional agenda - economic, social and political development in that order. This is not because these aspects are in any sense ‘superior’ to other forms of development (although the economic dimension remains dominant within the development discourse and within the Caribbean), but because it permits the long view - to look back at development policy to situate where the theory and practice of development is now and where it may go in the future. In turn this may mean looking again at what constitutes development in the region.

In order to proceed, however, there are two issues that must be addressed. The first is a familiar one - the definition of the Caribbean. In presenting statistics and some of the current arguments on development the paper cites extensively from two reports...

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