Capitalism, Socialism and Technology: A Comparative Study of Cuba and Jamaica

1985 Capitalism

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Publication Information

Edquist, C. (1985). Capitalism, socialism and technology: A comparative study of Cuba and Jamaica. London: Zed Books, 195 pp.

ISBN: 9780862323936


The author claims to develop a novel theoretical approach which supplements broad structural perspectives with individual actor oriented explanations developed using the concept of a ‘social carrier of technique’. For those who seek new information, especially on the Cuban mechanization, the book will be useful.

─ Fiona Atkins (1986)

‘This focused and thoughtful study offers noteworthy descriptive accounts as well as sensible analyses of internal obstacles to change and of conditions under which innovation and change – strong enough to provide an impetus for industrialization – are possible in agrarian export economies.’

─ Mauricio A. Font (1986)

‘Edquist has produced a splendid description of recent technical changes in the Cuban and Jamaican canefields which also gives a wider picture of developments in these societies. His major theoretical contribution, the ‘social carrier’ construct, seems [to be] a powerful analytical tool.’

─ Geoff Burrows (1986)

‘Edquist develops a theory of technological innovation and compares the differential response of capitalist Jamaica and socialist Cuba to technological opportunities in the harvesting of sugarcane. His theoretically informed analysis makes this an illuminating study of why and how development does or does not occur in the Third World. It is also the best discussion to date of the modernization of Cuban agriculture.’

─ Carl Henry Feuer (1988)

‘Edquist’s concluding chapters on the consequences and implications of the choice of technologies are superb. In these chapters Edquist raises profound policy questions that could only be posed by an author with a deep and sensitive understanding of technological change derived from empirical research and informed by theory.’

─ Martin Kenney (1986)

‘Edquist analyzes under what circumstances certain social groups can appear as carriers by having sufficient competence to call for new techniques, group interest in seeing them introduced, and sufficient power to implement them.’

─ Håkan Wiberg (1986)


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