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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

                                                                            Copyright © 1998 International Development Options

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Volume One                                                                   Winter 1997-Spring 1998                                                               Numbers 1-2.

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   RESTRUCTURING THE BAUXITE INDUSTRY IN THE CARIBBEAN: THE ROLE OF THE STATE AND

  TRANSNA­TIONAL CORPORATIONS

 

   Leslie Wade

   Economic Affairs Officer

   Office of the Special Coordinator

   for Africa and the Least Developed Countries

   1 United Nations Plaza

   New York, New York 10017

   Published online: December 15, 2016

 

   ABSTRACT

 

This article examines the process of restructuring the Caribbean bauxite industry in response to the techno-economic paradigm shift and in the context of the restructuring of all major industrial sectors.  It will specifically examine production technol­ogies, patterns of work organization and management practices.  The bauxite industry is of importance because it is a global industry, and its competitiveness is defined by the profit require­ments in the global market.  Thus, it reflects the issues related to the crisis created by the techno-economic paradigm shift and how this shift is affecting the restructuring of individual state and private firms at the global and local levels. The article is divided into four main sections.  The first section provides a theoretical framework for the discussion of restructuring focusing on the concepts of "crisis" and "paradigm shifts"; the second section looks at how the restructuring of the bauxite/alumina industry evolved worldwide in response to the crisis.  The third section examines the impact of global restruc­turing of the bauxite industry on Caribbean producers, and the fourth section examines how these producers attempted to restruc­ture at the local level.  Some thoughts on the prospects for the bauxite industry concludes the article.

 

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