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The Imperatives of Power

Political Change and the Social Basis of Regime Support in Grenada from 1951-1991

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Pedro Noguera

The political changes that have occurred in Grenada since 1951 are unique, particularly within the Commonwealth Caribbean which has had a tradition of stable two-party democracies, based upon the Westminster system of government. This study attempts to explain the dramatic shifts in political leadership that have occurred in Grenada during the forty year period examined. Three leaders, Eric Gairy, Maurice Bishop, and Herbert Blaize, each possessing substantially different ideological orientations, held power during this period. The factors responsible for their rise and eventual loss of power are analyzed and explained through historical and ethnographic research which was carried out in two stages: from July to December 1982, and from August 1987 to February 1988.