The Twelfth Conference of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) will be hosted in Kingston, Jamaica from March 23-25, 2011 and is entitled ‘Challenges of the Independence Experience in Small Developing Countries’.
The year 2012 will mark fifty years since the first Anglophone Caribbean nations gained independence, beginning with Jamaica on August 6th and followed closely by Trinidad and Tobago on August 31st 1962. Following the collapse of the West Indies Federation with Jamaica’s decision to withdraw in 1961, it became evident that the move to independence would take the form of a succession of small independent territories as opposed to the earlier conception of gradual progress towards national status on the basis of a larger regional entity. As such, 1962 marks the beginning of an experiment with a particular notion of small territory statehood which did not, in the view of many observers, seem as the most propitious way towards political autonomy. This, of course, was not a West Indian phenomenon, but part of the broader anti-colonial movement which gained momentum with Indian independence in 1947 and became a deluge in the decades thereafter. At the important and useful marker of forty-nine years since the beginning of the Caribbean dimension of this profound international process, it is useful to pause and ask questions relevant to the entire post-colonial independence experience, among them:
1. To what extent can it be argued that the many small territories that struggled for and gained ‘independence’ actually achieved a modicum of meaningful sovereignty and autonomy?
2. What have been the strengths and weaknesses in the economic models pursued by specific territories and to what extent have they led to economic well-being for their respective peoples?
3. What have been the respective experiences with various schemes of regional integration and what hope do they hold for new avenues to reinvigorate sovereignty?
4. To what extent have the social policies pursued led to real improvements in the quality of life?
5. To what extent have the various political systems served to deepen democracy and provide efficient and effective administration for their citizenry?
6. What has been the role of popular culture and the arts in general in social and national development?
And, looking to the future, some of the immediate questions might include:
1. What new forms or mutations of contemporary constitutional arrangements might most appropriately work with the new notions of sovereignty, nation and identity that are emerging?
2. What, if any are the economic options and approaches that might address successfully matters of greater social equality, environmental sustainability and energy scarcity?
3. What new models of agricultural development might confront rural inequality and the requirement of food security?
4. What are the new approaches to the environment that might simultaneously address its degradation and the development of the rural community and economy?
5. What would a new tourism more responsive to the environment, the local economy and community well-being look like?
6. What are the new and innovative approaches to the vexing international problems of security and crime that would recognize the link between social well being and crime and implement new approaches alongside more traditional forensic and security measures?
7. What are the genuine possibilities for a deeper and wider regional integration to frontally address the difficult challenges of the contemporary global order?
8. What is the role of Diaspora in a reconfigured international political economy?
We encourage papers from a range of disciplines and from trans-disciplinary perspectives which seek to answer these and other questions relevant to the experience of small countries in the post-colonial period. Particular attention will be given to papers that seek to compare experiences, within and across regions particularly from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. We will also encourage submissions on the experiences of those non-independent territories that chose a different route to national development in this period. A selection of the best papers from the conference will be published in a special issue of the journal Social and Economic Studies.
This event will be the first stage towards a specifically Caribbean-oriented ‘Fifty-Fifty’ conference which is scheduled to be held in late 2012 and will attempt to comprehensively address these themes through a series of previously organised scholarly research clusters.
Abstracts of no more than 150 words may be submitted to email@example.com
Deadline for submission of abstracts is January 15, 2010
Notification of selection to Presenters is February 11, 2011
Deadline for completed papers is February 28, 2011.
Enquiries may be made by calling Arlene Supersad or Sonia Amos-Davis at (876)927-1020 or
(876)927-1234 or by the abovementioned email address.
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