From Sugar Cane to Computer Chips: The Political Economy of Information Technology in the Caribbean
Gerald Louis Fils
Thesis DT 3.5 2003 F53
xi, 285 leaves: ill.; 28 cm.
The political economy framework is employed as a theoretical discursive mechanism to analyze the issue of information technology in the Caribbean islands of Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad. This thesis attempts to critically analyze the means by which information technology functions as a vehicle for development. In this study it was found that information technology in its current form may prove insufficient as an instrument for development. This study suggests that innovation centers, defined as institutions which develop new ideas, methods, and methods for production, from an endogenous perspective may act as possible venues for development.
A historical profile and analysis has been presented for the countries under consideration. The analysis spans from the colonial period to the current period of dependent development. The technological dependency nexus created by the transfer of information technology from Western countries is posed as a hindrance for utilizing information technology as a development tool.
In addition, in order to attain a preliminary -albeit limited--view of information technology in the region questionnaires were distributed to companies, individuals, and educational institutions. The study suggests that individuals and companies in the Caribbean posses familiarly with information technology and its various uses. However, the study also suggests that there may be limited exposure to high-end information technology uses such as software development and programming that could provide a possible alleviation to technological dependence.