Many of the nations of the Caribbean that have become independent states have maintained as a central, organizing, nationalist principle the importance in the beliefs of the ideals of sovereignty, democracy, and development. Yet in recent years, political instability, the relative size of these nations, and the increasing economic vulnerabilities of the region have generated much popular and policy discussions over the attainability of these goals. The geo-political significance of the region, its growing importance as a major transshipment gateway for illegal drugs coming from Latin America to the United States, issues of national security, vulnerability to corruption, and increases in the level of violence and social disorder have all raised serious questions not only about the notions of sovereignty, democracy, and development but also about the long-term viability of these nations.
This volume is intended to make a strategic intervention into the discourse on these important topics, but the importance of its contribution resides in its challenge to conventional wisdom on these matters, and the multidisciplinary approach it employs. Recognized experts in the field identify these concerns in the context of globalization, economic crises, and their impact on the Caribbean.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Sovereignty, Heterodoxy, and the Last Desperate Shibboleth of Caribbean Nationalism; Linden Lewis. Part I: Neoliberalism and the Paradox of Sovereignty in the Caribbean. 1. Class, Power, Sovereignty: Haiti Before and After the Earthquake; Alex Dupuy. 2. Transnational Capitalist Globalization and the Limits of Sovereignty: State, Security, Order, Violence and the Caribbean; Hilbourne Watson. 3: The Dissolution of the Myth of Sovereignty in the Caribbean; Linden Lewis. 4: Dependent Capitalism and the Challenge to Democracy and Sovereignty in the Caribbean; Anton Allahar. Part II: Arrested Development and the Cultural Turn. 5: The "Myth" of Development: The Case of Trinidad and Tobago; Dave Ramsaran. 6: Paradoxical Sovereignty: Imagining Caribbean Futures; Silvio Torres-Saillant. 7: Sovereignty/Intimacy: Political Openings in Contemporary Jamaica; Deborah A. Thomas. Part III: Caribbean Futures: Democracy Imperiled. 8 – Curaçoans on the Question of Home: The Lure of Autochthony and Its Alternatives; Francio Guadeloupe. 9: Non-Sovereign Futures? French Caribbean Politics in the Wake of Disenchantment; Yarimar Bonilla. 10: Jamaica on the Cusp of Fifty: Wither Nationalism and Sovereignty?; Brian Meeks. Afterword; Cary Fraser.
Linden Lewis is Professor of Sociology at Bucknell University. His areas of specialization are race, gender, labor, the state, globalization and neoliberalism. He is the editor of The Culture of Gender and Sexuality in the Caribbean, and the co-editor of Color, Hair and Bone: Race in the Twenty-first Century. He was President of the Caribbean Studies Association (2010).
"Caribbean thinkers have long challenged the central nostrums of western thought. The distinguished writers in this penetrating book join their predecessors in confronting the fiction of Westphalian sovereignty as the disabling model for political imagination and activity that it has become for a region whose problems are not best addressed in rigidly territorial form"
—John Agnew, UCLA
"Thinking beyond sovereignty in the context of the Caribbean region means exploring the idea of a future unmaking of centuries of conquest and violence. Whether in the form of 'guerrilla sovereignty' or no sovereignty at all, the people of the Caribbean, just like the people of the entire world, on whom sovereignty has been imposed as false independence and self-determination, can invent new forms of democracy and development. This is, I believe, the main thrust of this important book: a critique of the myth of sovereignty as hypocrisy and domination -- extending from the Caribbean to the world."
—Bruno Gulli, Long Island University