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Politics, Nation and PostColony: Caribbean Inflections

Politics, Nation and PostColony: Caribbean Inflections olitics and the anglophone Caribbean nation-states are in acute crisis, from which there seems no easy exit. is crisis pervades the intellectual climate. Brian Meeks suggests that perhaps we are at the stage of “terminal meltdown,”¹ David Scott small argues that “there is scarcely a postcolonial society that is not in fundamental crisis,”² axe and Selwyn Ryan opines that the “tensions between economic distress and democratic governance”³ engender regional political instability. In the contemporary period, “crisis” is a much overworked label. As a political term it is a sign of instability, of chaos, disorder, and broken social bonds. Clearly the Caribbean nation-states constructed from 1938 onward are in crisis. Beverly Lopez, a prominent Jamaican businesswoman, plaintively says, “[I] recognize that the citizens of this country no longer look to us for a counter point vision or leadership.”⁴ But if there is general agreement that politics and various regional nation-states are in crisis, there is no consensus on the nature of the crisis. Is it one of “hegemonic dissolution,” as Meeks suggests, or of “the modern nationstate project as a whole,” as Scott argues? I agree that there exists a fundamental crisis in the politics of the different Caribbean http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism Duke University Press

Politics, Nation and PostColony: Caribbean Inflections

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2002 by Small Axe, Inc.
ISSN
0799-0537
eISSN
1534-6714
DOI
10.1215/-6-1-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

olitics and the anglophone Caribbean nation-states are in acute crisis, from which there seems no easy exit. is crisis pervades the intellectual climate. Brian Meeks suggests that perhaps we are at the stage of “terminal meltdown,”¹ David Scott small argues that “there is scarcely a postcolonial society that is not in fundamental crisis,”² axe and Selwyn Ryan opines that the “tensions between economic distress and democratic governance”³ engender regional political instability. In the contemporary period, “crisis” is a much overworked label. As a political term it is a sign of instability, of chaos, disorder, and broken social bonds. Clearly the Caribbean nation-states constructed from 1938 onward are in crisis. Beverly Lopez, a prominent Jamaican businesswoman, plaintively says, “[I] recognize that the citizens of this country no longer look to us for a counter point vision or leadership.”⁴ But if there is general agreement that politics and various regional nation-states are in crisis, there is no consensus on the nature of the crisis. Is it one of “hegemonic dissolution,” as Meeks suggests, or of “the modern nationstate project as a whole,” as Scott argues? I agree that there exists a fundamental crisis in the politics of the different Caribbean

Journal

Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of CriticismDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2002

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