, Volume 57, Issue 3–4, pp 578–590 | Cite as

The Fading Developmental State: Growing inequality in Mauritius

  • Sheila Bunwaree
Local/Global Encounters


The small multi-ethnic island state of Mauritius has made great strides and embraced the notion of equal opportunity for all, although this has not always been translated in practice. This article argues that, while the first wave of structural transformation contributed to economic growth and employment opportunities for citizens, development has not been equitable, especially with respect to Mauritians of African origin. The quest for a second wave of sustainable transformation may not be easy and the country needs to rethink its model of development and ensure that the latter is infused with ethical and human centred governance.


developmental state inequality small island state industrialization 


  1. AfrAsia Bank (2013) Annual Report, Port Louis, Mauritius.Google Scholar
  2. Ballington, Julie (2004) Strengthening Internal Political Party Democracy: Candidate recruitment from a gender perspective. Stockholm, Sweden: International IDEA.Google Scholar
  3. Boswell, Rose (2008) ‘Integrating Leisure: The case of an integrated report scheme’, Africa Insight 38 (1): 146–159.Google Scholar
  4. Bunwaree, Sheila (1994) Mauritian Education in a Global Economy. Editions de L’Ocean Indien Mauritius: Rose-Hill.Google Scholar
  5. Bunwaree, Sheila (2006) ‘Gender, Elections and Governance’, Journal of African Elections 3 (1): 152–175.Google Scholar
  6. Bunwaree, Sheila (2010) Governance, Gender and Politics in Mauritius. Mauritius: Editions le Printemps.Google Scholar
  7. Bunwaree, Sheila (2011) ‘Mauritius: Beyond elite compacts and incestuous politics’, in Hussein Solomon (ed.) Against All Odds-Opposition Political Parties in Southern Africa. Sandton, South Africa: KMM publishing.Google Scholar
  8. Business Mag (2012) ‘Fish: Local Consumer Pays More Expensive than European Union’, 17 October.Google Scholar
  9. Central Statisitcs Office (2012) Productivity and Competitveness Indicators. Port-louis, Mauritius.Google Scholar
  10. Central Statistical Office (2012a) Labour Force, Employment and Unemployment. Port Louis, Mauritius: Central Statistical Office.Google Scholar
  11. Central Statistical Office (2012b) Household Budget Survey. Mauritius: Household Budget Survey.Google Scholar
  12. Electoral Supervisory Commission (2014) Compilation of election results for gender representation, Port -Louis, Mauritius.Google Scholar
  13. Francois, Ellezer (2014) ‘It will take Mauritius a very long time to become, if ever, an egalitarian society’, Le Defi Media Group, defi-quotidien, Port Louis, Mauritius.Google Scholar
  14. Fuentes-Nieva, Ricardo and Nicholas Galasso (2014) ‘Working for the few – Political capture and economic inequality’, Oxford: Oxfam Briefing Papers, Oxfam International.Google Scholar
  15. Gill, Geetanjali (2012) Poverty and Exclusion in an Ethnically-Plural society: A Mauritius case study. Germany: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing.Google Scholar
  16. Grynberg, Roman (2013) ‘Mauritius' economy “miracle” not all it seems’. Mail & Guardian, 15 March.Google Scholar
  17. Ibrahim, Mo (2014) Ibrahim Index of African Governance Report 2014, London: Mo Ibrahim Foundation, September.Google Scholar
  18. Jolly, Richard (2013) Human Development Indicators and Policies in Mauritius. Mauritius: UNDP office.Google Scholar
  19. Jugnauth, Aneerood (2015) Economic Mission Statement,Vision 2030, Prime Minister’s Office, Port Louis, Mauritius.Google Scholar
  20. Katzenstin, Peter J. (1985) Small States in World Markets: Industrial Policy in Europe. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Kearney, Richard C. (1990) ‘Mauritius and the NIC Model Redux: Or how many cases make a model? Journal of Developing Areas 24 (2): 195–216.Google Scholar
  22. Meade, James E. (1968) The Economic and Social Structure of Mauritius. London: Frank Cass.Google Scholar
  23. Meisenhelder, Thomas (1997) ‘The Developmental State in Mauritius’, Journal of Modern African Studies 35 (2): 279–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Naipaul, Vidiadhar Surajprasad (1972) The Overcrowded Barracoon. London: Andre Deutsch.Google Scholar
  25. National Empowerment Foundation (2010) ‘Liste de Poches de Pauvreté’, Port-Louis, Mauritius,, accessed 29 December 2014.
  26. Obwona, Marios and Benon Mutambi (2004) Foreign Direct Investments in Africa – Do they Reduce Poverty? Stockholm: SIDA.Google Scholar
  27. Sandbrook, Richard (2005) ‘Origins of the Democratic Developmental State: Interrogating Mauritius’, Journal of African Studies 39 (3): 549–581.Google Scholar
  28. Sawer, Marian (2002) ‘The Representation of Women in Australia: Meaning and make believe’, Parliamentary Affairs 55 (1): 5–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Singh, Manmohan (2005) Address to the Mauritian National assembly during his visit to Mauritius in 2005,
  30. Stiglitz, Joseph (2011) ‘The Mauritius miracle, or how to make a big success of a small economy’. The Guardian, March,, accessed 24 September 2015.
  31. Truth and Justice Commission (TJC) (2012) Truth and Justice Commission (TJC) Report, Government printing press: Mauritius.Google Scholar
  32. Tutu, D. (2007) ‘Mauritian Diversity’, Le Matinal, 19 March, Port-Louis, Mauritius.Google Scholar
  33. UNDP (2011) ‘Human Development Report’, New York: United Nations.Google Scholar
  34. UNODC (2010) ‘World Drug Report 2010’. Austria: United Nations Publication, Sales No.E.10.XI.13.Google Scholar
  35. Victor, K. (2014) ‘Maurice, unproblème fiscal pour l’Afrique?’ Le DéfiQuotidien, 25 April.Google Scholar
  36. World Bank (2014) ‘Ease of Doing Business Report’, Washington DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
  37. World Bank (2015) ‘Mauritius Systematic Country Diagnostic’, Report no 92703-MU, Washington DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
  38. World Development Indicators (1998) Washington DC: World Bank.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Society for International Development 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheila Bunwaree

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations