14 April 2011

Research Identifies areas of Democratic Deficit in Dependent & Autonomous Governance Models


Self-Governance Deficits in Dependency
and Autonomous Governance Models

A paper presented to Twelfth Annual Conference of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute
for Social and Economic Studies (SALISES)
University of the West Indies
on the
'Challenges of the Independence Experience in Small Developing Countries'

Kingston, Jamaica 
25th March 2011

Dr. Carlyle G. Corbin
International Advisor on Governance & Multilateral Diplomacy


Whilst much of the Caribbean has achieved political independence, the region remains one of the most constitutionally diverse in the world, with three distinct sets of non-independent Caribbean countries (NICCs) comprising non-self-governing territories (NSGTs), self-governing autonomous countries (SGCs), and Integrated Jurisdictions (IJs). The nature of these increasingly complex political arrangements presents significant challenges to Caribbean integration.

This paper provides an updated composition of the Non-Independent Caribbean (NIC) reflecting the most recent political and constitutional changes including the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles, constitutional modifications in the British - administered territories in the Caribbean, and political status and internal constitutional deliberations in United States-administered Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The contemporary composition of the Non-Independent Caribbean is markedly different than that which prevailed before 2010 (Corbin, 2001, 139).

In this connection, the present paper examines the applicability of international instruments to the evolution of self-governance in the NIC, including the United Nations (UN) Charter, relevant international conventions and United Nations resolutions. The paper provides examples of self-governance deficit, and devises a political formula based on the existent power relationship between the respective NIC and the cosmopole. It is precisely this relationship which must be assessed in order to determine the level of preparedness of a NIC for a full measure of self-governance, or whether a non-independent country which is said to have arrived at a full measure of self-governance through autonomy or integration has in fact met the criteria for either option as defined international standards.

The full paper is available at:

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