The Politics of Integration: Caribbean Sovereignty Revisited

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In a refreshingly frank discussion of the political culture and context, the personalities and the tradition of sovereignty which have all shaped the integration movement in the Caribbean, Gilbert-Roberts lays bare the problems of the past, CARICOM's successes and failures and revisits the roadmap for the FUTURE CHARTED so many years ago, yet not followed. She posits that the illusion of a `vaunted and pristine sovereignty' has in fact emerged from the failure of the leaders themselves to abandon their own elite conceptions of a personal sovereignty that, coupled with the absence of a true regional ideology, ideas supported by measurable collective action have left a vacuum between the theoretical promise of regionalism and CARICOM's disappointing record to date. The Politics of Integration concludes that CARICOM's collapse is not inevitable, highlighting the potential for a renewal of the regional development process if the fundamental dynamics of power and the implications for sovereign authority (political and personal), control, autonomy and legitimacy are addressed. Whether Caribbean leaders will realise the development potential for their individual countries and rise collectively to the political challenge of reform will be the true test - a test only they will take but for which the region will either reap the rewards or pay the price.