An Editorial Column/Blog by David Hinds on Guyana, Caribbean and African Diaspora Politics and Society

David Hinds publishes book on Ethnicity and Power Sharing in Guyana

Posted April 10th. 2011

A new book Ethno-Politics and Power Sharing in Guyana: History and Discourseby Dr. David Hinds has just been released. According to Dr. Hinds, "It is a book about ethnic conflict and the search for solutions to that conflict. First, it presents a historical account of ethno politics in Guyana from the late 1940s to the present which is premised on the following thesis: while other factors such as class, party politics, ideology, gender and political personality, have been prevalent in the political process, these have been manifested within the context of the ethnic competition and conflict between East Indians and African Guyanese. Second, an important aspect of this history has been the search for ways to bring about reconciliation. Hence power sharing. Finally, the book provides an account of the discourses that accompanied the politics both as catalyst and outcome. It examines the narratives of leading theoreticians, commentators, political leaders and ethnic gatekeepers. As is the case with the history, it is a discourse of both conflict and the need for reconciliation."

Dr. Hinds continues, "The book builds on previous studies, which have not had the benefit of the developments since 1992 when the country changed from an African dominated government to an Indian dominated one. While those studies captured the country's ethnic politics within the context of an authoritarian political order, this one expands into the period of democratization. Another distinguishing feature is the broadening of the discourses beyond the standard examination of government and opposition action. In this regard alternative perspectives, which would ordinarily be marginalized, are situated as part of the discourse. Consequently, the book highlights the roles and perspectives of political actors such as Eusi Kwayana, Clive Thomas, Walter Rodney and Ravi Dev--all important but generally marginalized voices in political studies of the country. Similarly the book subjects more familiar voices such as Dr. Cheddi Jagan to a fresh critique that, in some respects, runs against the grain of orthodox interpretations."

Dr. Hinds teaches Caribbean and African Diaspora Studies in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University.

For more details about the book see the following link

David Hinds lectures in Caribbean and African Diaspora Studies at Arizona State University in the USA. His writings on Politics in Guyana and the Caribbean can be found on his website.