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Norman Girvan Institute of International Relations University of the West Indies St Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago ISISA Conference 1-5 November 2004. Do Small Island States Have A Future In A Globalised World?.

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do small island states have a future in a globalised world

Norman Girvan

Institute of International Relations

University of the West Indies

St Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago

ISISA Conference 1-5 November 2004

Do Small Island States Have A Future In A Globalised World?
a global contradiction
SIS tourism is a multibillion dollar indicator of their ‘market’ value in a globalised world

‘Extra-market’ contribution of SIS ecosystems given political recognition by the world community in SIDS Declaration

But continuing threats to the viability of SIS from global market, ecological and political processes

A global contradiction
why the contradiction
Global market failure

Fragmentation of global governance systems

‘Cosmology of disconnection’

Why the contradiction?
resolving the contradiction
Resolving the contradiction
  • Learn from ‘cosmologies of interconnection’ of Indigenous Knowledge Systems
  • Interconnect emerging system of global governance and commitments in the environment, trade, finance and social development
  • Incorporate SIS ‘right to exist’ as a global entitlement
value of sis
SIDS Declaration recognises ecological services and that their “survival is firmly rooted in their human resources and cultural heritage, which are their most significant assets (and) under severe stress”

Ambiguity of SIDS Declaration - human and cultural assets are also of value to the entire world community - part of the ‘cultural gene pool’ of mankind.

Extinction of SI would be a form of cultural series loss, as well as biological/ecological

Value of SIS
caribbean case
16th century: destruction of indigenous people

17th-19th centuries: African slave trade and Asian indentured servitude

17th – 21st centuries: cultural adaptations of transplanted populations

Creative achievements in language, agriculture, politics, sport, music, literature, culture, migration—creation of new cultural assets for world community

Creation of new insular identities

Caribbean case
environmental vulnerability
Environmental vulnerability

Hurricane Ivan Sept 2004

wto the missing links
Historically, losers from national market integration were compensated by movement of labour and by social and geographic redistribution measures undertaken by national governments

No analogous provisions for losers from international market integration

The initial impact of globalisation for small countries is likely to be negative

Global environmental, labour and social commitments are not legally binding and enforceable

WTO – the missing links
security
Transnational crime, a global multibillion dollar industry fuelled by globalisation, controls resources that dwarf those of small, medium and some large states

In Caribbean, drug economy ‘exceeds the GDP of 12 of the 14 Caricom states’ and drug-transit exports ‘exceed the total of Caricom’s top five domestic exports ’

Effects include corruption, violent crime, kidnapping, extortion, protection, money laundering

Containment only possible with international cooperation

Security
national governance
Unity of effort around broad goals and strategies is a necessary condition to cope with challenges of globalisation

This may be easier to achieve in SIS where sense of community and identity is strong

Democratic participation in goal-setting may be facilitated small scale

National governance
regional governance
For SIS, the benefits of regionalism lie less in market integration and more in functional cooperation

Two important areas are (i) management of shared ecosystems and (ii) external negotiations

Example (i) Caribbean Sea Initiative of the Association of Caribbean States

Example (ii) Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery of CARICOM

Regional governance
international governance
Effective national and regional governance by SIS essential to reform of global governance

Architecture of global governance should recognize SIS ‘right to exist’ as members of the global community

Coherence – incorporate recognition across all instruments

Instruments should be inter-connected and given equally binding status as international treaty obligations

International Governance