Copyright © 1998 International Development Options
All Rights Reserved
Volume One Winter 1997-Spring 1998 Numbers 1-2.
RESTRUCTURING THE BAUXITE INDUSTRY IN THE CARIBBEAN: THE ROLE OF THE STATE AND
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
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.