Neoliberalism, states, and bananas in the Windward Islands
Crichlow's study documents the important changes that have occurred in class structure and opportunity in Windward Islands banana production because of decisions by foreign corporations and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Banana producers in the Windwards have experienced the loss of preferential trade with Europe as the free-trade philosophy has expanded. When U.S. banana companies persuaded the WTO that the European banana protocol with the former colonies violated world trade agreements with regard to unfair advantage, the islands faced more competition in gaining access to the European market. To limit financial losses the large banana estates were transformed to family farms with the aid of British capital and proletarians became small farmers. Crichlow outlines the results of this effect of globalization. The need for family labor to reduce costs threatens overall income, opportunity for educational advancement is jeopardized because the children are working, and the liberation of women from farm work has been reversed. The state has been restructured in line with the new production process. The marketing companies for bananas remain the same, giving small farmers control over the "peasant labor process" but nothing more. Resistance to this process of globalization thus far is divided between small and large farmers and by party and is modest so far, but Crichlow expects much more activity as the standard of livfing plummets.
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