Grenade, Wendy C. (2007) Caricom: Coming of Age? Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series Vol. 7 No. 4 April 2007. [Working Paper]
[Introduction]. The contemporary global political economy is characterised by synergies and dichotomies between globalism and regionalisms. While this is not new, it has taken on added currency in recent years with the intensification of globalization and trade liberalization. As Hettne and Söderbaum contend, regional integration is “…a complex process of change simultaneously involving state as well as non-state actors and occurring as a result of global, regional, national and local level forces.” For them, regions are viewed as “emerging phenomenon, ambiguously both forming part of and driving, as well as reacting against and modifying the global order.”(1) The European Union (EU) is the most advanced and sophisticated regional project, and provides a useful reference point, as a model of governance beyond the sovereign state. This paper argues, however, that the motivation for regionalism in the North is different from that in the South. As Hettne et al remind us, core regions are coherent, politically strong, well organized at the supranational level, not only economically growing but leading in technological innovation. Core regions are ‘policy-makers’ which organize for the sake of being better able to control the rest of the world, the world outside of their own region and compete among themselves in exercising this influence. Peripheral regions are ‘policy-takers’ since they are politically more turbulent and economically more stagnant. Consequently they have to organize in order to stop the threat of marginalization. At the same time their regional arrangements are fragile and ineffective. (2) Therefore, for the developing world, regional integration is both necessary and problematic. While this is not new, global forces have generated renewed urgency for integration in the South. Within this context the paper examines the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). As the Caribbean seeks to navigate the global environment regional integration continues to be a necessary imperative. As such there have been concrete steps toward deeper integration, for example, the establishment of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) and the launch of the Caribbean Single Market (CSM) in 2005 and 2006 respectively. Yet, despite those visible attempts to deepen integration, the emerging institutional design still caters for a minimalist (3) form of integration. The paper argues that after thirty-four years, the Caribbean is coming of age, but with inherent deficiencies. The paper is structured in three parts. Following this introduction the first section examines some theoretical imperatives. Second, it analyses the current state of Caribbean integration, mindful of the significance of the EU model as a frame of reference. The final section offers conclusions and suggestions for further research.
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