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Introduction Welcome to the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies, generally referred to as SALISES. The Institute's history goes back to the early days of the University of the West Indies, with the formation of the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) in 1948. ISER was established in advance of the faculty of Social Sciences in order to build a solid foundation of empirical data on the Caribbean region and functioned admirably in this capacity for some fifty years. In 2000, ISER merged with the Consortium Graduate School of the Social Sciences (CGSS), which was a novel, fifteen year- long initiative to train graduate students with an interdisciplinary perspective. SALISES seeks to merge the best research traditions of ISER with the high quality graduate teaching and supervision that was a hallmark of the CGSS.