Decolonization in St. LuciaPolitics and Global Neoliberalism, 1945-2010

Decolonization in St. LuciaPolitics and Global Neoliberalism, 1945-2010

Tennyson S. D. Joseph

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9781617031175

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi


This book builds upon current research on the anticolonial and nationalist experience in the Caribbean. It explores the impact of global transformation upon the independent experience of St. Lucia and argues that the island’s formal decolonization roughly coincided with the period of the rise of global neoliberalism hegemony. Consequently, the concept of “limited sovereignty” became the defining feature of St. Lucia’s understanding of the possibilities of independence. Central to the analysis is the tension between the role of the state as a facilitator of domestic aspirations on one hand, and as a facilitator of global capital on the other. The author examines six critical phases in the St. Lucian experience. The first is 1940 to 1970, when the early nationalist movement gradually occupied state power within a framework of limited self-government. The second period is 1970 to 1982, during which formal independence was attained and an attempt at socialist-oriented radical nationalism was pursued by the St. Lucia Labor Party. The third distinctive period was the period of neoliberal hegemony, 1982–1990. The fourth period (1990–1997) witnessed a heightened process of neoliberal adjustment in global trade that destroyed the banana industry and transformed the domestic political economy. A later period (1997–2006) involved the SLP’s return to political power, resulting in tensions between an earlier radicalism and a new and contradictory accommodation to global neoliberalism. The final period (2006–2010) coincides with the onset of a crisis in global neoliberalism.