The trinity divided: Ethnopolitics and Islamic fundamentalism in Trinidad and Tobago

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

Enrique A. Baloyra - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

One A. Other - Committee Member


A group of mostly black converts to Islam attempted to overthrow the legitimate government of Trinidad and Tobago using both ethnic nationalist and Islamic fundamentalist rhetoric on July 27, 1990. Just twenty years earlier, the country experienced the Black Power riots which rallied people along race and class lines. This dissertation focuses on the relationship between ethnopolitical activism and Islamic fundamentalism as well as the possible association between Trinidad's Black Power riots and the 1990 uprising. The hypothesis is that by understanding the events that prompted the 1970 Black Power demonstrations, a more accurate explanation of 1990's manifestation of ethnopolitical activism and Islamic fundamentalism will be possible. This study explains why ethnopolitical activism and religious fundamentalism occur jointly under certain circumstances and puts forth a theory with the potential for broad applications beyond the case of Trinidad and Tobago.**Originally published in DAI Vol. 57, No. 4. Reprinted here with corrected school name.


Religion, Philosophy of; History, Latin American; Political Science, International Law and Relations; Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies

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