Matthew Lange

in Lineages of Despotism and Development

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780226470689
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226470702 | DOI:

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  • Comparative and Historical Sociology


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This chapter examines the causes of unexpectedly low development levels in Guyana, a former indirectly ruled British colony. It highlights the presence of despotism despite direct rule and explains that Guyana neither strengthened preexisting state structures, increased inclusiveness, nor began state-led development efforts. This chapter argues that the independence period was a critical-juncture period during which the intersection of class inequality and cold war politics readjusted the country's developmental trajectory.

Keywords: Guyana; former British colony; direct rule; despotism; independence; class inequality; cold war politics; development

Chapter.  9386 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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