Can a Buy Local Campaign Save Barbados’ Manufacturing Industry? Considering Dependency and Post-Colonial Consumption Theories
by Joseann Knight
In 2002, the government and manufacturers of Barbados came together to mount a buy local campaign in an effort to mitigate the potentially deleterious effects of trade liberalisation. Referred to as ‘the Buy Bajan’ initiative, this campaign is now in its thirteenth year of existence. This paper examines the response to the ‘Buy Bajan’ message through the lens of dependency theory and post-colonial theory. It demonstrates that despite the identity struggle experienced as a consequence of three hundred years of colonial domination, the people of Barbados have developed a semblance of collective identity which could drive nationalistic consumer behaviour. This paper makes practical suggestions for strengthening the buy local message in light of the increasingly formidable presence of foreign multinational brands on Barbadian retail shelves.
Key words: Buy Local Campaign, Dependency Theory, consumer behaviour, trade liberalization
Public Policy Theory and Field Explorations in the Caribbean: Extending Critique of the State-of-the-Art
by Don Marshall
How should we theorise public policy? In most approaches we would find the concept “policy” allied to ‘dealing with problems’. This article apprehends the state-of-the-art in public administration literature but at the junction point of ‘policy science’, itself derived from policy theory. It extends critique of policy science as an analytical framework rooted in a rationalist, scientific and problem-solving conception of policymaking. This remains important even after the argumentative turn against neo/positivist policy analysis some twenty-five years ago. Attention is drawn to the Caribbean empirical site because public policy formulation and implementation in these countries have been pragmatic. This is partly in keeping with an evolving conservative development and accumulation agenda, and as such it remains drawn to policy science proclivities captured in the tutelage, curriculum and bureaucratic culture extant in the circuits of education, training and in the art of the possible. Altogether this cultural habitus hardly provides space for problem-questioning. The central argument is that ultimately, policy science functions as a stultifying force on democratic engagement as it over-extends the influence of technocracy, shuns problem-questioning in practical policy work, constrains possibilities for alternative ideas and procedures to take hold, and limits the scope for a broadening of policy theory that embraces the political. The conclusions are buttressed by accounts arising from fieldwork conducted across eight Anglophone Caribbean countries between April 2010 and January 2012.
Key words: public policy, governance, policy science, problematisation, implementation culture, civil/public servants, Westminster.
by Winston Moore and Justin Carter
The Caribbean is highly dependent on services as a means of generating growth, employment and foreign exchange earnings. In large measure, however, there is a limited understanding of the factors that encourage service companies in the region to enter foreign markets. This paper provides an empirical assessment of the export propensity of Caribbean service companies in order to identify the key factors that either support or hinder export market participation. The results indicate that company size, export promotion, the type of industry, informal competition, theft and disorder as well as the availability of labour skills were the most important determinants of the export decision as well as export intensity. Moreover, support for export promotion efforts in the Caribbean had the largest marginal effect on firms’ export decisions. The paper therefore recommends that policymakers in the region need to refocus their policy interventions, as most support to date has focused on issues that would enable firms to capture a greater share of the domestic market rather than export market support.
Key words: Export propensity; Service companies; Export Promotion; Export Decision.
by Latoya Lazarus
This paper examines two conservative Christian Civil Society Organisations in Jamaica, the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship and Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society; focusing in particular on their efforts to influence the discourse and actualisation of sexual citizenship in that country. I argue that these groups are not seeking to ‘disclaim’ sexual citizenship as some have suggested. Rather, they seek to publicly strengthen an exclusionary notion of sexual citizenship that is not only ideologically grounded in hegemonic heterosexuality, but also in a certain conservative view of culture and ‘Judeo-Christian’ respectability, values and morality. This exploratory and some-what descriptive research is underpinned by academics and activists’ interpretations and analyses of the concept of sexual citizenship. I also draw upon selected narratives from in-depth interviews, as well as content analysis of a number of sources.
Key words: Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship, Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, Christianity, Civil Society Organisation, Sexual citizenship, Human rights.
by Diane M. Hoffman
Based on ethnographic work with out-of-school youth in Haiti, this article considers how youth’s perspectives on their lives contain important lessons for thinking about social development. Despite much research that points to ‘at-risk’ children and youth as lacking ambition, Haitian youth maintained high aspirations for belonging to mainstream society. This suggests that while social policy often frames children and youth through a lens of vulnerability and risk, this perspective fails to engage with the local contexts, aspirations, and needs of youth. More research on youths’ ideas about present and future is needed to advance new ideas for thinking about social development.
Key words: youth, Haiti, out-of-school, social policy, aspirations.
Book Review - The Gairy Movement: A History of Grenada, 1947–1997 by George Griffith, (Washington, DC: American Legacy Books, 2015) 390 pages. ISBN: 978-1-886766-50-1
by Wendy Grenade.
by William W. Lawrence
Business turnaround remains a neglected topic in higher education at a time when Caribbean commercial enterprise faces global pressures that diminish competitiveness. This article reviews the turnaround strategies of firms listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange. The main observation is that international prescriptions are also relevant for Caribbean firms and provide the foundation for a practical agenda for higher business education on how to recover from organisational decline. A table of specifications for a one-semester course on managing business turnaround is proposed.
Key words: business, turnaround, business strategy, restructuring, Caribbean higher education.