The Democratic System in the Eastern Caribbean

The Democratic System in the Eastern Caribbean

The Democratic System in the Eastern Caribbean

The Democratic System in the Eastern Caribbean

Synopsis

What are the unique features of the governing structures and political systems of seven small states in the East Caribbean? Are they truly democratic? And what can we learn about the political modernization of developing countries through an in-depth study of the governing of Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts/Nevis and Montserrat? This is the most comprehensive analysis to date of these little-known democracies and the most thorough comparison of their political systems to other Western government models.

Excerpt

This study examines the governing structure and systems of the small independent states of the Eastern Caribbean, that are an former British colonies. The states that are the subject of this study are: Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts/Nevis, and the dependent colony of Montserrat.

The political model that has emerged in that region since independence is one characterized by a fairly clear and relatively high degree of functional specificity of structure. Legislation is vested in the hands of a freely elected parliament, and policy development and decision-making are the function of the prime minister and the executive cabinet.

On the surface, the model appears to be structured along Western democratic standards, but in reality it is distinctly unique. This study will examine the major differences that exist between the Eastern Caribbean model and other Western models.

The absence of a historical traditional society in the region, its small size, and a history of British domination have resulted in a system that manifests a strong level of stability, but nonetheless has an equally strong authoritarian governance structure.

The existing theories on development and modernization do not adequately explain the idiosyncrasies or unique characteristics of the Eastern Caribbean model.

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