Security in the Caribbean Basin: The Challenge of Regional Cooperation

By Joseph S. Tulchin; Ralph H. Espach | Go to book overview

10
Toward a New Political Framework
for Migration in the Caribbean
Robert L. Bach

The end of the Cold War has changed both the policies of the former combatants and the theoretical and ideological weapons of researchers and scholars. Gone are the policy preoccupations with nuclear missiles aimed at opposing camps. Missing as well is the hegemony of “security studies” over international relations and regional political economy.

Former political and theoretical opponents now face a common dilemma: What comes next? Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and with it the euphoric declaration of the end of ideology, the dominant policy challenge has become how to reduce and eliminate restrictions on aggregate economic growth. Trade expansion and liberalization dominate discussions of development among international institutions, banks, governments, think tanks, and universities. Import-export figures, reduced tariffs, free-trade agreements, and elimination of government subsidies to protected economic sectors now define policy targets. In short, the end of the Cold War has thus far been a transition from an era of statism to a period of market fetishism.

Policy preoccupations with expanding markets, opening trade opportunities, and eliminating regulatory hurdles, however, do not help to respond to problems that arise from these efforts. For example, income inequality has increased along with accelerated aggregate economic growth. Trade liberalization and financial restructuring have eliminated wage subsidies that had prevented the middle and working classes from becoming poor. Most ominously, newly accumulated wealth, increasingly in the hands of unlawful organizations, has made possible a level of lawlessness that challenges, if not undermines, the legitimacy of many states.

Even critics of current policies are limited to market-oriented alternatives. Proposed relief for disadvantaged economic sectors simply

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