Toward an Understanding of Transnational Capitalism in the Caribbean
by Jeb Sprague-Silgado
Globalization, Sovereignty, and Citizenship in the CaribbeanWatson Hilbourne (ed.) Globalization, Sovereignty, and Citizenship in the Caribbean. Mona, Jamaica: University of the West Indies Press, 2015.
Hilbourne Watson, in Globalization, Sovereignty, and Citizenship in the Caribbean, lays out a nuanced and radical critique of today’s “commonsense” perceptions of the nation-state and associated statuses such as citizenship. By “radical” I mean, as in the Greek definition, “arising from or going to a root or source.” While other contributors to the volume lay out historically grounded arguments, Watson’s first, second, and concluding chapters stand out in challenging traditional nation-state-centric conceptions of political economy. Liberal universalized rights were supposed to promote a new fraternité, but the rights of citizens have developed through and concomitant with systems of exploitation and repression. As Watson argues, these rights were never meant to extend relative equality to the masses, as is often believed. Hannah Arendt (1966: 267, 298–301) famously made a similar point in her critique of the nation-state and in the context of the “rights of man.”
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