Diaspora and Ethnic Contestation in Guyana

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Guyana, an ethnically bipolar state has suffered immense developmental damage as a consequence of competitive partisan elections based on communal mobilization. After colonial control was relinquished, the country fell into two and half decades of corrupt authoritarian ethnocratic rule. In 1992, free and fair elections were restored, but in succeeding general elections, the pattern of ethnic preference persisted. The discovery of immense petroleum resources in 2016 is about to confer unprecedented wealth on this small country of about 800,000 people. The problem now consists in the challenge to overcome the bipolar ethnic antagonism between Indians and Africans even as the new wealth itself threatens to unleash its own form of curse.


Ethnic bipolarity Communal elections Authoritarian rule Walter Rodney Cheddi Jagan Forbes Burnham Cooperative republic ExxonMobil Resource curse 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of the West Indies TrinidadSt. AugustineTrinidad and Tobago
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of the West Indies TrinidadSt. AugustineTrinidad and Tobago

Section editors and affiliations

  • Melani Anae
    • 1
  1. 1.Pacific Studies|School of Māori Studies and Pacific Studies, Te Wānanga o WaipapaUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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