Strategies for economic development in the Commonwealth Caribbean: a comparative study of the foreign economic policy strategies adopted by the Manley government in Jamaica and the Williams government in Trinidad and Tobago
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This thesis compares the foreign economic poUcy dimension of the development strategies adopted by the governments of two Commonwealth caribbean countries: The Hardey government In Jamaica, and the· Williams government in Trlnidad and T ooago, The foreign economic policIes adopted by these governments appeared, on the surface~ to be markedly dissimilar. The Jamakan strategv on the one hand, emphasised self-reliance and national autonomy; and featured the espousal of radical oonaHgnment together with attempts to re-deftne the terms of the Islands externaa economIc relaUoos. The Trinidadian strategy 00 the other hand, featured Uberal externaUy-oriented growth poUctes, and close relatjoos with Western governments and financial institutions. Th1s study attempts to identify the explanatory factors that account for the apparent dlssimUarUy 1n the foreign economic policies of these two govemnents. The study is based on a comparison of how the structural bases of an underdeveloped ecooomYg and the foreign penetration and vulnerabUUy to external pressures asSOCiated wUh dependence, shape and influence foreign economic poUcy strategy. The framework views fore1gn ecooom1c strategy as an adaptive response on the part of the decision makers of a state to the coostralnts and opportunities provided by a particular situation. The · situat i 00' in this case being the events, conditions, structures and processes, associated wUh dependente and underdevelopment. The results indicate that the similarities and dissimHarities in the foreign economic policies of the governments of Jamaica and Trinidad were a reflecUon of the simHarities and dissimilarities in their respective situations. The conclusion derived suggests that If the foreign pol1cy field as an arena of choice, Is indeed one of opportunities and constraints for each and every state, then poHcy makers of smaU, weak, hlghW penetrated and vulnerable states enter thlS arena with constraints outweighing opportunities. This places effective limits 00 their decisional latitude and the range of policy options avaUable. Policy makers thus have to decide critical issues with few estabUshed precedents, in the face of domestic social and political cleavages, as wen as serious foreign pressures. This is a reflection not only of the trappings of dependence, but also of the Umned capabilities arising from the sman size of the state, and the Impact of the resource-gap In an underdeveloped economy. The Trinidadian strategy 1s UlustraUve of a development strategy made viable through a combination of a fortuitous circumstance, a confluence of the interests of influential groups» and accurate perception on the part of poUcy makers. These factors enabled policy makers to minimise some of the constraints of dependence. The faUure of Manlets strategy on the other hand, 15 iHustraUve of the problems involved tn the adoption of poUcles that work against the interest of internal and external political and economic forces. It is also tUustraUve of the consequences of the faUure 00 the part of policy makers to clarify goals, and to reconcile the values of rapid economic growth with increased self-reliance and national autonomy. These values tend to be mutuany Incompatible given the existing patterns of relations in the jnternational economy.
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