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Hegemonic Transitions in the Caribbean? China and the Post-Atlantic Future Hegemonic Transitions in the Caribbean? China and.

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Presentation on theme: "Hegemonic Transitions in the Caribbean? China and the Post-Atlantic Future Hegemonic Transitions in the Caribbean? China and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hegemonic Transitions in the Caribbean? China and the Post-Atlantic Future Hegemonic Transitions in the Caribbean? China and the Post-Atlantic Future Caribbean Development in the Midst of New Regional and Global Dynamics Matthew L. Bishop University of the West Indies Forum on the Future of the Caribbean Port of Spain, May 2015

2 Introduction A region in crisis? Deteriorating Governance Collapsed Growth (Models) Environmental Catastrophe Crime and Violence Ballooning Debt Burdens Stalled Regionalism

3 Introduction “Are Caribbean countries facing ‘existential’ threats?” (Norman Girvan, 2010) What’s new? Development challenge no longer simply about building a ‘viable, functioning political economy’ (Anthony Payne 2005) Emergence of a highly uncertain hemispheric and global context Regional institutional settlement unfit for 1989, let alone post-2008 era

4 Introduction Caribbean intellectuals and policymakers still fighting the battles of the past… A tired debate? We do live in a fundamentally liberal global order… The Radicals (‘Critical-Thinkers’) The Neoliberals (‘Problem-Solvers’) …but critique without solutions can be nihilistic, seeing threat and not opportunity …but its nature is not pre-determined; passive ‘opening-up’ does not amount to a development strategy The Caribbean has consistently suffered from exploitative patterns of insertion into the Global Political Economy…

5 Introduction Existing institutions and mechanisms are neither fit for the past nor the future The integration crisis Two competing visions? “Some decisive steps are urgently required to rescue CARICOM, or else life support may come too late to prevent coma” (PJ Patterson, 2014) Crisis, stasis and decline are increasingly the norm, not the exception This is not something which has occurred naturally; it is the product of political (in-)action ”The Caribbean is … stalled at a crossroads of indecision; stalled for so long that we are in danger of becoming anachronistic - literally out of time - and out of step with the rest of the world” (Kenny Anthony, 2015)

6 Introduction The region is between a rock and a hard place; it needs to discover a developmentalist bent The Caribbean in a rapidly changing world The (Neo-)liberal ViewA ‘developmentalist’ synthesis?A Radical View “The Caribbean cannot stand in splendid isolation in defiance of the forces of liberalisation if it is to survive and prosper … I do feel that managed and socially responsible liberalisation must be unambiguously embraced as a greater development force than it has been in the past” (Owen Arthur, 2015) “To ‘join’ [globalisation] is to simply hitch one’s fate to the so- called magic of the market. It is to succumb to the hoax of our time—the idea that there is a secular wave sweeping all countries towards a single political economy praxis. The conventional mythology of ‘globalisation’ summons an inexorable neoliberalising logic of inevitable convergence” (Don Marshall, 2002) Globalisation is happening, but its character is not pre-ordained The nature of Caribbean engagement is crucial It presents threats and opportunities Engagement with global forces must serve development

7 Conclusion: is a strategic approach possible? Markets only serve development if they are forced to do so These pathologies can only be overcome with ‘developmental’ institutions All societies are a product of their history and reflect the (unequal) distribution of political and economic power The Caribbean still reflects the ‘plantation’ inheritance (and a rentier economy) Private sectors alone do not create growth (or development) “Most of the radical, revolutionary innovations that have fuelled the dynamics of capitalism – from railroads to the Internet, to modern-day nanotechnology and pharmaceuticals – trace the most courageous, early and capital-intensive ‘entrepreneurial’ investments back to the state. Consequently, markets for these new products or services had also to be created and shaped by the ‘visible hand’ of the state” (Mazzucato 2013)


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