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The development strategy of the People's Revolutionary Government : the political economy of economic transformation in Grenada, 1979-1983

Smith, Courtney A.


Courtney A. Smith


Paul K. Sutton


This study seeks to fill a critical gap in the burgeoning literature on the Grenada Revolution, viz, the attempt of the People's Revolutionary Government (PRG) at economic transformation in Grenada during its brief, but eventful, period in office from March 1979 to October 1983.

The thesis is divided into two major but inter-related parts. The first four chapters explore the empirical and theoretical issues which lay behind the strategy of transformation adopted by the PRG. Examined, respectively, are Grenada's integration in the world economy, the objective circumstances which gave rise to the Revolution (particularly the role of 'Gairyism'), and the main theoretical currents which informed the PRG's development strategy both prior to 1979 and once it was in government. The second four chapters examine in detail the performance of the PRG in the three critical sectors of the Grenadian economy - agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing - to determine the success or otherwise of its policy of transformation. Special emphasis is placed on the issue of the international airport, the relationship between the PRG and the private sector, and the macroeconomic performance of the economy under the PRG.

A major finding of the study is that by early 1982 the Grenadian economy was engulfed in a profound crisis, manifested principally in dwindling capital inflows, widening balance of payments and budget deficits, and a halting of major capital projects. The economic crisis in turn exacerbated the parallel crisis which was operative on the political front. Another central finding is that the economic problems resulted not so much from the structural characteristics of the economy (smallness, openness, dependence, and peripheral position in the world economy) but, more fundamentally, from the contradictions between the Soviet-formulated theory of non-capitalist development adopted by the PRG and the objective realities of Grenada's economy, society, and geo-politics.


Smith, C. A. (1988). The development strategy of the People's Revolutionary Government : the political economy of economic transformation in Grenada, 1979-1983. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Sep 30, 2015
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Politics
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Politics, The University of Hull
Award Date Aug 1, 1988


Thesis (248.9 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 1988 Smith, Courtney A. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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