This study examines the content and direction of Jamaica's foreign relations between 1972 and 1989. In this time period the country witnessed the ascent and fall of four governments formed by the two major parties i.e. the People's National Party (PNP) and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in the context of a Westminster type democracy. Jamaica, being a typical structurally dependent "Third World" country, experienced two contrasting models of development promoted by the four governments. 1 The first endorsed an import-substitution, self-reliance oriented programme, while the second subscribed to an export-promotion, International Monetary Fund (IMF)/ World Bank inspired blueprint.
The following question underlies this study: Why was it that important aspects of both foreign policy approaches did not successfully ameliorate Jamaica's condition of structural dependency but, instead, contributed to the strengthening of dependency-transmitting forces and mechanisms? Neither the attempt to openly reject and reverse this condition nor the effort to acquiescently maximize its potential benefits has led to a more viable, self-sustaining economy or greater room for manoeuvre in the conduct of Jamaica"s international relations. It is proposed that, apart from the content and execution of both development programmes, the political culture of Jamaica and the political style of both parties and their leaders in government, it was the intractable conditions of structural dependency in which the country was and continues to be situated, that influenced the degree of success of the two distinct foreign policy approaches which complemented the above mentioned development models.