Security, Sovereignty and Public Order in the Caribbean

This article discusses the conceptual approach to security in the Caribbean, examines the nature of the security landscape in the region, and suggests areas of public security that warrant further attention. In relation to the first issue, it argues that the traditional Realist approach to security, with its focus on the military variable, the state as the unit of analysis, and external threats, is not applicable to the Caribbean region. Rather, an appropriate paradigm is one that goes beyond Realism, taking account of economic and political variables, both state and non-state actors, and external as well as internal threats. In relation the security landscape, it considers the security threats and challenges to include territorial disputes, drugs, political instability, and crime. The work emphasizes that the issue of drugs is not one-dimensional, but involves production, trafficking, abuse, money laundering, corruption, and local and organized crime. Attention is also paid to terrorism, showing the impact of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the Caribbean. As regards areas for further attention the article suggests the need for distinctions in use of the terms "national security," "national defense," and "public security." Moreover, it calls for more theoretical and policy oriented work on public security actors and responses, and on crime, private security, and the security implications of HIV/AIDS.

File Type: pdf
Categories: SDSR
Author: Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith

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