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Publication Type
Conference Proceedings
UWI Author(s)
Author, Analytic
Byron, Jessica
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Paper/Section Title
G.K. Lewis and Reflections on Sovereignty in the Caribbean: From Colonial Nationalism to the Present Day.
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Proceedings Title
Duke University/UWI Symposium “States of Freedom, Freedom of States.
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Place of Meeting
UWI Mona, June 16-18, 2010
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Date of Publication
2010
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Abstract
G.K. Lewis, in most of his work, including The Growth of the Modern West Indies, Freedom and Power in Puerto Rico, Main Currents in Caribbean Thought, and Grenada: The Jewel Despoiled, reflected extensively on the concept of sovereignty and its import for territories in the Caribbean Basin. He dwells on the social and political stagnation of many Caribbean societies in the 19th and early 20th centuries, stuck in the “ennui of colonial existence”. He regards the social and psychological legacies of colonialism as the most damaging aspects and views political independence as essential for beginning the process of constructing new, healed, more organized societies.This paper aims to explore and reflect on Lewis’ thoughts on sovereignty in the Caribbean, using this as a platform to examine more broadly Caribbean understandings and actual experiences of sovereignty, particularly since the mid-1900s. These are set against the backdrop of decolonization in the global context, the consolidation of a globalized economy and the evolution of the meanings of sovereignty on the international plane as well as in the national context. Lewis’ analysis of historical events will be juxtaposed against more contemporary developments as the paper endeavours to place his insights in the context of our ever more complex present-day political settings.....
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