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The Port Royal ExperimentA Case Study in Development$
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Kevin Dougherty

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781628461534

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2016

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628461534.001.0001

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The Hand in the Bucket

The Hand in the Bucket

Sequencing and Perseverance

(p.155) Chapter Ten The Hand in the Bucket
The Port Royal Experiment

Kevin Dougherty

University Press of Mississippi

Most observers have assessed the Port Royal Experiment as at best a mixed success. Certainly it succeeded in meeting immediate humanitarian needs and beginning the transition from slavery to freedom for the Sea Islands blacks. However, these early gains reached a plateau and not only did not become self-sustaining and increasing, as time passed they regressed. A variety of modern nation-building theories help explain the Port Royal Experiment’s failure to produce lasting results. By focusing on initiatives such as education rather than establishing a strong military presence on the Sea Islands early on, the Port Royal Experiment appears to violate Francis Fukuyama’s insistence that the “strength of state institutions is more important in a broad sense than the scope of state functions.” Likewise, Roland Paris’s “institutionalization before liberalization” sequencing requirement that “peacebuilders should concentrate on constructing a framework of effective institutions prior to promoting political and economic competition” was not followed.

Keywords:   Institutionalization before liberalization, Nation-building, Francis Fukuyama, Roland Paris, sequencing

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