Monday, 6 September 2010

Caribbean Seminar Series

Caribbean Seminar Series

jointly hosted by the Institute for the Study of the Americas and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London.

You are warmly invited to attend these events. Please note the time and venue in each case. The programme can also be found on


20th October, Ben Bowling, King’s College London PANEL & BOOK LAUNCH Policing the Caribbean: Transnational Security Co-operation in Practice Oxford University Press, 2010

VENUE: Chapters, King’s College London, Strand, London WCR 2LS

Panel: Ben Bowling, Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice, King's College London Robert Reiner, Department of Law, LSE Amanda Sives, Department of Politics, Liverpool University
Chair: Philip Murphy, Director, Institute of Commonwealth Studies

Policing the Caribbean examines how law enforcement is migrating beyond the boundaries of the nation state. Perceptions of public safety and national sovereignty are shifting in the face of global insecurity and as the police respond to transnational threats like drug trafficking and organised crime. Transnational policing is one of the most significant recent developments in the security field and is changing the organisation of criminal law enforcement in the Caribbean and other parts of the world. Drawing on interviews with chief police officers, Customs, coastguard, immigration, security, military and government officials, Policing the Caribbean examines these changes and provides unique insight into collaboration between local security agencies and liaison officers from the UK and USA. This book considers the impact of a restructured transnational security infrastructure on the safety and wellbeing of the Caribbean islands and beyond. It concludes that as the “war on drugs” has been fought, transnational law enforcement has displaced drug trafficking to new locations across the north Atlantic rim and with it, the associated harms of money laundering, corruption and armed violence.

Bio: Ben Bowling is Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice at King's College London. He has published widely in the fields of policing and international criminal justice. His books include Violent Racism (OUP 1998) and Racism, Crime and Justice (with Coretta Phillips, Longman 2002). He has served on the editorial boards of the British Journal of Criminology and Policing and Society. He has been a consultant to the United Nations and Interpol, and regularly addresses senior security sector practitioners from around the world.

Hosted in collaboration with the British Society of Criminology

3rd November SEMINAR: Clara Rachel Eybalin Casseus, Université de Poitiers ‘Trans-national Associative Practices: The Case of Haitians in France’

Venue: G32, Senate House, ground floor
Time: 5pm

This paper examines the empirical data collected on a less-visible segment of the population residing in Metropolitan France: migrants of Haitian origin referred to as trans-national entrepreneurs. Three elements in this study help us to understand how migrants transformed themselves into development actors: their ability to cultivate cross-border transactions and exchanges on a regular basis; an engagement with the local community in activities likely to lead to long-term development and sustainability; and an overall approach to empower locals to break the poverty-trap triangle. In the aftermath of the recent earthquake in Haiti, this paper attempts to look differently at the ongoing practices of a diasporic community and its possible impact on local development.

Bio: Originally from Haiti, Clara Rachel’s journey abroad begins at age of four due to political turmoil. Her travels took her to different parts of the globe: from Zaire to Miami, from Mexico to Jeddah. A long-time tourism specialist (FL/GA, 1988-1992) and former Healthcare worker in the US and Jeddah, she holds a BA in International Politics and a MAIA/MPA in Strategic Public Policy from The American University of Paris. She also holds an MA joint-degree with the Institut Catholique de Paris in the Sociology of Conflicts. She is currently working on her PhD on Migration & Development Studies at the Université de Poitiers (France), focusing primarily on the evolution of trans-nationalism and Caribbean diasporic communities throughout the European Union.

17th November, Natalie Zacek, University of Manchester SEMINAR & BOOK LAUNCH Settler Society in the English Leeward Islands, 1670-1776, Cambridge University Press, 2010

Venue: G27, Senate House, ground floor
Time: 5pm

Settler Society in the English Leeward Islands, 1670-1776 is the first study of the history of the federated colony of the Leeward Islands - Antigua, Montserrat, Nevis, and St Kitts - that covers all four islands in the period from their independence from Barbados in 1670 up to the outbreak of the American Revolution, which reshaped the Caribbean. Natalie A. Zacek emphasizes the extent to which the planters of these islands attempted to establish recognizably English societies in tropical islands based on plantation agriculture and African slavery. By examining conflicts relating to ethnicity and religion, controversies regarding sex and social order, and a series of virulent battles over the limits of local and imperial authority, this book depicts these West Indian colonists as skilled improvisers who adapted to an unfamiliar environment, and as individuals as committed as other American colonists to the norms and values of English society, politics, and culture.

Bio: Natalie Zacek is Lecturer in American Studies at the University of Manchester. She received her PhD from Johns Hopkins University, and has published essays on aspects of the social, cultural, and gender history of the English West Indies in Slavery and Abolition, the Journal of Peasant Studies, Wadabagei and History Compass, as well as a number of edited volumes. She has received funding awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the British Academy, the Virginia Historical Society, and the Earhart Foundation, and is currently working on a history of horse-racing in 19th-century America.


Speakers: Amanda Sives, Liverpool University; Rivke Jaffe, Leiden University
Followed by book launch of Elections, Violence and the Democratic Process in Jamaica, 1944-2007 by Amanda Sives (Ian Randle Publications, 2010)

Venue: G27, Senate House, ground floor
Time: 5pm

Amanda Sives, ‘A calculated assault on the authority of the State?’: Crime, Politics and the Extradition of Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke’
In this paper, I use the extradition of Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke as a starting point for analysing the relationship between criminality and politics in 21st century Jamaica. Based on secondary sources and previous research, I analyse this example to explore connections between criminal networks, political parties and the State. I argue the ‘Dudus’ case was inevitable given the historical relationships between criminal actors and politicians and that this extradition could provide a turning point if the State, and agents of the State, prove to be genuinely committed to breaking the connections between politics and crime. In addition, I want to explore other factors which can influence the direction of the process. First, I question how far civil society can be involved in the ‘renewal’ process and where the potential barriers to their engagement could arise and secondly, I want to explore the international dimension, critically important given current economic realities in Jamaica and the trans-national nature of the ‘problem’.

Rivke Jaffe, ‘Hybrid States and Complementary Governance: Crime and Citizenship in Kingston, Jamaica’
Nation-states worldwide face a situation where different governance structures compete for citizens’ allegiance. In marginalized urban areas, new, informal governance structures may provide access to crucial urban services and resources, and offer a framework for social inclusion and belonging. In Kingston, Jamaica, criminal organizations, led by so-called ‘dons’ have taken on these functions of the state. Rather than understanding these non-state governance structures as ‘parallel states’, this presentation explores the idea of ‘hybrid states’ in which criminal organizations and the state are entangled as they share control over urban spaces and populations. Seen from perspective of inner-city Jamaicans, this does not result in a situation where the dons replace the state and entire neighbourhoods become non-state spaces. Rather, it entails a form of ‘complementary governance’ by which citizens utilize informal systems of rule in conjunction with formal state structures.

Amanda Sives is a Lecturer in Politics. Her main research expertise lies in the politics of the Caribbean with a particular emphasis on Jamaica. She has worked on a number of research projects in a variety of countries including Jamaica, Botswana, Guyana, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the United States and the UK. Successfully completed projects have focused on election observation, political violence and migration. She has held posts in the University of Nottingham, the Commonwealth Policy Studies Unit and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies. She has been working in the School since September 2005.

Rivke Jaffe is a Lecturer in the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at Leiden University, the Netherlands. She previously held teaching and research positions at the University of the West Indies, Mona and the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV). She has conducted fieldwork in Jamaica, Curaçao and Suriname on topics ranging from the urban environment to the political economy of multiculturalism. Her current research, in Jamaica, studies how criminal organizations and the state share control over urban spaces and populations, and the alternative governance structures and fragmented sovereignty that result from this.

15th December, Victor Bulmer-Thomas, Professor Emeritus, London University
SEMINAR: The Rise, Decline and Fall of the Belize Economy before Independence

Venue: G32, Senate house, ground floor
Time: 5pm

Abstract: At the close of the Napoleonic Wars, the small population of Belize had the highest average income in the Caribbean. This was due to its specialisation in high value timber products and a very profitable entrepot trade with Central America. By the time Belize became a British colony in 1862, this privileged position was starting to erode due to the decline of the re-export trade and severe difficulties in the mahogany industry. Crown Colony rule did nothing to reverse this, the efforts to diversify the economy towards agricultural exports were both too little and too late, and the Belize economy entered a long period of relative decline. When the Great Depression struck in the 1930s, the material basis of the economy was undermined and the economy endured a sharp fall.

Bio: Professor Victor Bulmer-Thomas is Professor Emeritus of London University and Senior Distinguished Fellow of the School of Advanced Studies. He served as Director of the Institute of Latin American Studies between 1992 and 1998 and recently served as Director of Chatham House. He is currently Visiting Professor at Florida International University where he is working on an economic history of the Caribbean since the Napoleonic Wars.

No comments: