In the last twenty years, the Commonwealth Caribbean has moved toward a new technocratic model of development which has sought to reposition the region within the global economy. This paper examines three key policy agendas that have emerged to drive, guide and inform this process: competitiveness, diplomacy and governance. In each case the paper first provides an overview of the main issues, setting the particular circumstances of the Commonwealth Caribbean within wider global developments. It then examines the current "state of play" in each area, highlighting progress made and problems encountered. The last part discusses policy issues in each area, identifying both key concerns in current policy and urgent policy questions that still remain to be resolved. The paper concludes that real progress can be made only if the Commonwealth Caribbean adopts the "functional equivalent" at the regional level of the kind of "development state" that was so successful in East Asia. This will involve restructuring CARICOM to become more innovative, proactive and directive than has been the case to date.

Part of Series

CIGI's Caribbean Papers present and discuss policy issues pertaining to trade, investment, human capital, the fiscal outlook and public sector management practices, among other issues, relevant to the Caribbean region's economic future.
  • Dr. Anthony Payne is Professor of Politics at the University of Sheffield, UK. He is the author and editor of several books and many articles on different aspects of Caribbean politics, political economy and international relations.

  • Paul Sutton is a Research Professor in the Caribbean Studies Centre at London Metropolitan University, UK. He is the author and editor of many books and articles on the Caribbean, including most recently Modernizing the State (2006) and, with Anthony Payne, Repositioning the Caribbean within Globalisation (2007).