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Still lonely after all these years? Contemporary development in the ‘Three Guianas’

Hoefte, Rosemarijn; Bishop, Matthew L.; Clegg, Peter


Rosemarijn Hoefte

Matthew L. Bishop

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Peter Clegg
Dean and Head of School of Social Sciences


Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana have traditionally been seen as isolated: from each other; from the Caribbean with which they are socially and culturally contiguous; and also from the South American continent in which they are geographically situated. Moreover, divided by language and relationships of varying intensity with their former colonisers, very little research exists which analyses their development predicament collectively. This article seeks to overcome some of these deficiencies. It shows how similar processes of change internally, regionally and globally are provoking new patterns of development and
engagement with the world in all three Guianas. The central conclusion of the paper points towards the need for a new research agenda which focuses on these unique territories as distinctive prisms through which to view various dimensions of contemporary globalisation. These include emerging Brazilian hegemony in South America, the ecological devastation wrought by extractive industries, the accompanying clandestine trade in humans and narcotics which flourishes in regions with fuzzy borders, limited state reach, and, in some cases, compromised—and potentially even partially criminalised—state institutions themselves, and the precarious position of indigenous Amerindian and Maroon communities.


Hoefte, R., Bishop, M. L., & Clegg, P. (2015). Still lonely after all these years? Contemporary development in the ‘Three Guianas’. Caribbean Studies, 43(2), 83-113

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 24, 2015
Publication Date Jul 1, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jun 6, 2019
Journal Caribbean Studies
Print ISSN 1098-4186
Publisher Peter Lang International Academic Publishers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 43
Issue 2
Pages 83-113
Keywords Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Caribbean, Latin
America, regionalization
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