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Title: Reunion, France and the E.E.C. : the state in north-south relations
Author: Hintjens, Helen M.
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1987
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The thesis examines the course of economic, social and political change in the former French colony of Reunion over the period 1946-1981. In this island, located in the South-West Indian Ocean, decolonisation has taken the form of integration and assimilation into France and the E.E.C. This process started with the Law of Departementalisation in 1946. Initially departementalisation policies led to a rapid recovery in the fortunes of the sugar plantation economy. There was an accompanying upturn in the birth rate and fall in mortality levels. However the full equality of social rights that had been hoped for in 1946 was delayed well beyond the start of the Fifth Republic. This, on the grounds that full assimilation in this sphere would undermine the economic base in the sugar economy, might provoke further increases in the birth rate, and would impose a heavy burden on the French state. With the start of the Fifth Republic, public planning efforts were renewed and budgetary integration was speeded up. The revitalised efforts of the French state took place in the context of decolonisation through independence in other colonies, and the appearance of a local Communist Party which favoured greater autonomy rather than integration as a means to decolonise the island's society, economy and politics. As plantation production has been replaced by state-related economic activity, in the public sector but also in commerce, transport and construction, the effectiveness of economic planning has diminished. The major problems in Reunion are now large scale unemployment and a severely restricted industrial base. For these reasons, and because the island retains a marked creole particularism, there remains a tension concerning the departmental status and the integration option. The Communist Party obtains over 30% of the vote. Yet, so long as the majority of the electorate continues to vote in favour of the pro-departementalistes at each election, Reunion's status as an integral part of France and the E.E.C. is likely to be secure.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available