The alba-tcp: Looking with Keen Eyes
Christopher David Absell
CONCLUSION ( ...continuation )

The consequences of this development, however, have yet to be studied to any great degree. Generally, the study of the ALBA-TCP lacks empirical validation. We have learned of the formation of the “grand-national companies” but what of their application? Concretely, how have the ALBA-TCPs development projects improved the welfare of the populations of its member states? How do these projects differ from country to country? Although the ALBA-TCPs institutional life-span only covers seven years to date, it is evident that many of its development projects have been operating during a large portion of that time. The opportunity exists to examine the results of the ALBA-TCPs development.

One of the principal weaknesses of the literature is the absence of the development of a shared bibliography. With a few exceptions, many of the articles reviewed here do not cross-reference. For this reason, many of the articles adopt alternative (and frequently opposing) arguments. The mass of conflicting accounts reflects the absence of consensus for developing a research agenda regarding the ALBA-TCP. Hopefully, this literature review will provide a temporary foundation for such an agenda.

And now, where should we go from here? Table 3 shows a list of active and proposed projects which I have adopted from Muhr and expanded upon, as well as a list of the work that has been accomplished in certain areas of study. As can be seen, the scope of the ALBA-TCP projects is quite broad, ranging from cultural initiatives to monetary and financial policy. However, it should also be noted that the research carried out on these topics has been limited. The topics presented here, such as food security or industry and trade, are areas upon which future research projects could focus. Given the unprecedented nature of some of these projects, further investigation is warranted, not only to increase our knowledge about ALBA-TCP development projects, but also to determine if the current nature of these projects confirms the consensus reached in the literature. In this way, we may be able to discard those rose-colored glasses in favor of a much clearer perspective.