chapter  13
20 Pages

Dependency and underdevelopment

The case of the Special Economic Zone in Mauritius
WithHonita Cowaloosur, Ian Taylor

This chapter applies a modified dependency theory prism to the case of the Mauritius Special Economic Zone, and examines how Mauritius has been facilitating its own underdevelopment by employing strategies that reproduce dependency. While Mauritius is a particular case, with its own specificities, this theoretically informed approach enables a set of questions to be raised about the broader African tensions in efforts to merge cooperation with dependency, socialism with neoliberal capitalism, and Chinese socialist capitalism with African particularism. Drawing on fieldwork, the chapter raises questions about the nature, status and implications of dependency dynamics today. Instead of treating Special Economic Zones as empirical events, it argues that the absence of a theoretical prism, and the resulting dominant understanding of these zones as insular entities, matters.