Addressing ethnic imbalances in the public services of plural societies

Ann Marie Bissessar (Department of Behavioural Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Publication date: 1 February 2002


Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana are plural societies in the Commonwealth Caribbean in which two major ethnic groups, the Africans and the East Indians, vie for state control and power. Since the early pre‐independence period in both these countries, electoral outcomes have reflected ethnic cleavages. However, this kind of ethnic divisiveness has not been confined to the political environment alone, but to a large extent has permeated the public sectors of these countries as well. This article will accordingly examine the extent to which allegations of ethnic imbalances are a reality in the public sectors of these two Caribbean countries, and the mechanisms that have been introduced to resolve ethnic imbalances in these countries. Finally it seeks to assess the relative successes or failures of these mechanisms.



Bissessar, A. (2002), "Addressing ethnic imbalances in the public services of plural societies", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 55-68.

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Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

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