Unmasking the State: Politics, Society and Economy in Guyana 1992–2015

Edited By:  Arif Bulkan and D. Alissa Trotz

Publisher:   Ian Randle Publishers, 2019

Guyana, a former British colony, obtained independence in 1966, following the collapse of a multi-racial nationalist movement and instability fomented by the US and UK governments. Standard political economy and historical analyses of post-independence Guyana tend to focus on the period of authoritarian rule under the People’s National Congress party, and the introduction of an IMF-supervised economic recovery programme. The analyses rarely go beyond the return to formal electoral democracy in 1992. Unmasking the State fills a critical gap in our understanding of the last three decades of Guyanese political, economic, social and cultural life under the People’s Progressive Party in the context of evolving regional and global geopolitical realities. It offers a detailed and nuanced examination of the post-1992 period, within a larger context where historical divisions, persistent attempts to tinker with and reinterpret the defective 1980 constitution, and systemic and institutional failures have produced waves of authoritarianism and corruption. It includes a stimulating range and diversity of perspectives from academics and activists, multidisciplinary in their engagement of history, politics, anthropology, economics, feminist, queer, Indigenous and environmental studies.

D. Alissa Trotz is Professor of Women and Gender Studies and Caribbean Studies.