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Decolonization in St. Lucia

Politics and Global Neoliberalism, 1945–2010

Tennyson S. D. Joseph

Publication Year: 2011

Tennyson S. D. Joseph builds upon current research on the anticolonial and nationalist experience in the Caribbean. He explores the impact of global transformation upon the independent experience of St. Lucia and argues that the island's formal decolonization roughly coincided with the period of the rise of global neoliberalism hegemony. Consequently, the concept of "limited sovereignty" became the defining feature of St. Lucia's understanding of the possibilities of independence. Central to the analysis is the tension between the role of the state as a facilitator of domestic aspirations on one hand and a facilitator of global capital on the other.

Joseph examines six critical phases in the St. Lucian experience. The first is 1940 to 1970, when the early nationalist movement gradually occupied state power within a framework of limited self-government. The second period is 1970 to 1982 during which formal independence was attained and an attempt at socialist-oriented radical nationalism was pursued by the St. Lucia Labor Party. The third distinctive period was the period of neoliberal hegemony, 1982-1990. The fourth period (1990-1997) witnessed a heightened process of neoliberal adjustment in global trade which destroyed the banana industry and transformed the domestic political economy. A later period (1997-2006) involved the SLP's return to political power, resulting in tensions between an earlier radicalism and a new and contradictory accommodation to global neoliberalism. The final period (2006-2010) coincides with the onset of a crisis in global neoliberalism during which a series of domestic conflicts reflected the contradictions of the dominant understanding of sovereignty in narrow, materialist terms at the expense of its wider antisystematic, progressive, and emancipator connotations.

Published by: University Press of Mississippi

Cover, Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-viii

List of Tables

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p. ix

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pp. xi-xii

It is always misleading to trace the origins of a book strictly from the point at which the formal writing process actually begins, for long before the writing commences there are ideas, experiences, questions, and influences that provide the primeval matter that shapes...

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pp. 3-7

This work explores the impact of global transformation upon the independence experience of St. Lucia, which attained its independence in the immediate post– Bretton Woods order in which a global framework had emerged that afforded little space for a radical...

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1. Conceptual Issues: Sovereignty, Nationalism, and Independence in the Era of Global Neoliberalism

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pp. 8-20

The impact of global neoliberalism on the practice of sovereignty of the independent nation-state has given rise to a wide body of reflection (see, for example, Agnew 2009; Sassen 1996, 1998; Harvey 2005; and Robinson 2004, 2008). The work of Robinson...

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2. Tentative Anticolonialism: Implications for Decolonization under Globalization, 1940–1970

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pp. 21-50

The period surrounding the publication of the reports of the Wood and Moyne commissions of inquiry into West Indian social and economic conditions in 1922 and 1938, respectively (see Cmnd. 1679 [1922]; Cmnd. 6607 [1945]), provides a useful context...

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3. The Politics of St. Lucian Decolonization, 1970–1982

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pp. 51-81

Contrary to popular and academic notions that see small size and economic underdevelopment as arguments against the demand for formal sovereignty (see Jackson 1990; Hintjens 1995), it was the prospects for economic development that underpinned the movement...

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4. St. Lucia under Global Neoliberal Hegemony, 1982–1990

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pp. 82-111

Perhaps the most critical feature of the political economy of St. Lucia in the years immediately following the return of Compton to office in 1982, and following the collapse of the Grenada revolution at the wider regional level, was the emergence of local and global realities...

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5. Deepening Globalization and the Unmaking of the Postcolonial Order, 1990–1997

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pp. 112-136

A series of global shifts in the 1990s signaled the “emergence of a new world order characterized by the globalization of production and consumption, [and] the liberalization and regionalization of the rule of economic law” (Nurse 1995, 2–3). These changes held far-reaching implications...

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6. Global Neoliberalism and the Left Agenda, 1997–2006

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pp. 137-166

The period leading up to and immediately following the 1997 electoral victory of the St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP) witnessed the philosophical repositioning of the party to embrace the objectives of global neoliberalism. This imperative of realignment required...

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7. “Sovereignty for Sale”: Domestic Politics and International Relations in the Early Twenty-first Century, 2006–2010

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pp. 167-186

When St. Lucians voted the United Workers’ Party (UWP) into office on 11 December 2006, they did so against a background of having witnessed a largely upheaval-free transition from an economy dependent primarily upon banana production to one...

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pp. 187-192

The exploration of the independence experience of St. Lucia reveals that much of the politics revolved around tensions between the local demand for sustaining the economic and political objectives that had given rise to nationalism, on the one hand, and the imperative...


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pp. 193-202


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pp. 203-222


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pp. 223-231

E-ISBN-13: 9781617031182
E-ISBN-10: 1617031186
Print-ISBN-13: 9781617031175
Print-ISBN-10: 1617031178

Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2011

OCLC Number: 754110841
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Decolonization in St. Lucia

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Globalization -- Political aspects -- Saint Lucia -- History.
  • Neoliberalism -- Saint Lucia -- History.
  • Saint Lucia -- Politics and government -- 21st century.
  • Decolonization -- Saint Lucia -- History.
  • Saint Lucia -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
  • Saint Lucia -- History -- Autonomy and independence movements.
  • Saint Lucia -- Economic conditions.
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