Caribbean Political Economy


Recent and Relevant

Caribbean Integration: Can Cultural Production Succeed Where Economics and Politics have Failed? Norman Girvan 2012

Pan-Caribbean Perspective: Colonialism, Resistance and Reconfiguration Norman Girvan 2012

Towards a New Democracy and a New Independence, Tennyson Joseph 2012

Turning Around CARICOM, The Landell Mills Report 2012

Caribbean Diplomacy For A World in Flux, Norman Girvan 2011

Caribbean Regional Integration, Institute of International Relations 2011

Caribbean Regional Governance and the Sovereignty/Statehood Problem, Matthew Bishop and Anthony Payne 2011

Re-Energising CARICOM Integration, Tillman Thomas Report 2011

Existential Threats: Regionalising Governance, Democratising Politics (REVISED), Norman Girvan (CL.R. James Memorial Lecture) 2011

CARICOM’s Elusive Quest for Economic Integration, Norman Girvan 2010

Other stuff

For lots of other stuff from the past five years click on the category Caribbean Integration (not the page).,   Feature addresses by regional statemen, papers by regional scholars, petitions from social movements, commentaries, newspaper editorials, immigration controversies. My own previous papers at Norman’s Integration Papers. Official documentation of course at the Caricom website. For instance you can read all the Communiqués issued at the end of Caricom summits going right back to 1973, giving you a detailed, blow-by-blow account of the evolution of the Community since its inception (you have to read between the lines of course, what’s unsaid is often as significant as what is said!); the full text of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, other key documents such as the Grand Anse and Rose Hall Declarations, reports of the Technical Working Group on Governance and the Single Development Vision, Havelock Brewster’s paper on the feasibility of the CSME without a political union; presentations made at the Caribbean Connect Symposium (2006). Unfortunately Time for Action: Report of the West Indian Commission, another major document, isn’t available online.

Two excellent analytical studies on Caricom economic integration are the Caricom Report No. 1 and the Caricom Report No. 2 (IADB/INTAL). Also follow to INTAL and search; report of the regional CSME Seminar held at the UWI Institute of International Relations in November 2005 ( Also see is Repositioning the Caribbean within Globalisation by Payne and Sutton published by the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Canada. Other on-line resources at the websites of the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery; the Caribbean Development Bank; the Caribbean office of the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean the East Caribbean Central Bank The ECLAC website above has an excellent data base on intra-Caribbean trade CARIBTRADE; together with powerful analytical tools. The SALISES 2004 annual conference was on the CSME and produced several useful papers. Also check out the website of the Association of Caribbean States for material on functional cooperation in the Greater Caribbean region. My own book, Cooperation in the Greater Caribbean, speaks to this subject.

Hard-copy: the handbook CARICOM: Our Caribbean Community is,   a comprehensive archival and descriptive reference book on the Community, its history, its organs and its programmes—everything you wanted to know about Caricom but didn’t know you should ask. Distributed directly the Secretariat directly (free copies are available to public institutions and libraries and who knows, to deserving researchers as well), and through Ian Randle Publishers. The Caricom Trade and Investment Report available on-line and last published by the Secretariat in 2010 (earlier editions in 2000 and 2006) is another ‘must-consult’ resource for economic researchers; its 500+ pages contain a huge amount of statistics, critical analysis and information on CSME initiatives. Equally essential reading, from the qualitative and political standpoint, are the books edited by Kenneth Hall and Dennis Benn as a result of the UWI-Caricom project and published by Ian Randle Publications including Integrate or Perish, Beyond Survival, Governance in the Age of Globalisation, Contending with Destiny and Production Integration. Several are the result of academic conferences and include contributions by virtually everyone who has ever written or spoken on the subject.

For historical perspective, make sure to read the work of the late William Demas on The Deepening and Widening of Caricom and The Economics of Development in Small Countries with Special Reference to the Caribbean, the Report of the West Indian Commission Time for Action, and the classic work of Havelock Brewster and Clive Thomas The Dynamics of West Indian Economic Integration. Both have continued to write extensively about integration; some on the website (use the search function).,   To those arguing for a new regional political union: please make sure to review the lessons of the failed West Indies Federation, amply documented, inter alia, by John Mordecai in The West Indies: the Federal Negotiations and by Arthur Lewis in The Agony of the Eight.

As you can see, there is no lack of material on the subject! But a great deal of research remains to be done to advance—and critically evaluate–the integration process. In every respect–the economics, the politics, the sociology and the cultural aspects of integration–remains a wide open field for research.


Last updated April 14, 2012