From Pirates to Drug Lords

The Post - Cold War Caribbean Security Environment

Edited by Michael C. Desch, Jorge I. Dominguez, and Andres Serbin

Subjects: Latin American Studies
Series: SUNY series in Global Politics
Paperback : 9780791437506, 161 pages, April 1998
Hardcover : 9780791437490, 161 pages, April 1998

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Table of contents


Michael C. Desch

1 Introduction

Jorge I. Domínguez

2 Hurricanes Are Not the Only Intruders The Caribbean in an Era of Global Turbulence

James N. Roseneau

3 The State of the Region Trends Affecting the Future of Caribbean Security

Anthony T. Bryan

4 Globalization, Regionalization, and Civil Society in the Greater Caribbean

Andrés Serbin

5 The Powers, the Pirates, and International Norms and Institutions in the American Mediterranean

Jorge I. Domínguez

6 The Geography of Drug Trafficking in the Caribbean

Ivelaw L. Griffith

7 Security in the Greater Caribbean What Role for Collective Security Mechanisms?

Richard J. Bloomfield

8 New Issues on the Regional Security Agenda for the Caribbean Drugs, Environment, Migration, and Democratic Stability

Instituto de Altos Estudios de la Defensa Nacional, Venezuela

9 Conclusion

Michael C. Desch


About the Contributors


Examines Caribbean countries' impact on the U. S. and the world and how they have consolidated their democracies, advanced prosperity, and maintained peace through collective security and international cooperation.


U. S. Marines in Haiti. Pirates or drug traffickers penetrating the southern border of the United States. Special economic arrangements that foster growth for some and hardship for others. These headlines about the Caribbean's international relations and its impact on the United States could date from both the beginning and the end of the twentieth century. Troubled as it is, the Caribbean nonetheless features important accomplishments that will benefit the United States in the long term. This book examines the crucial and timeless impact Caribbean countries have on the United States and the world, and the methods they have been employing to consolidate their democracies, advance prosperity, and maintain the peace through international cooperation among themselves. Its primary aim is to discuss the dominant threat perceptions and security priorities of regional governments, the varied mechanisms in place to promote regional collective action, and the future agenda of U. S. foreign policy toward the Caribbean. Rooted in an historical analysis of continuity and change in the Caribbean's international subsystem, the book analyzes the Caribbean within a broader international pattern, marking a tension in world affairs between the global and the local. In addition, it explores the challenges to governments and peoples in the region posed by changes in its political economy.

Michael C. Desch is Assistant Director and Senior Research Associate at The John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University. Jorge I. Domínguez is Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs and Director of the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. Andres Serbin is Professor and Director of INVESP in Caracas, Venezuela.


"The book goes far beyond a simple case study on the Caribbean. It successfully links empirical research on the region with theories of international relations. The book makes a very strong case arguing that 'nowhere else in the world are nonstate actors so militarily, politically, and economically powerful. ' The prominence of nonstate actors in the Caribbean makes the region an empirically rich area in which to explore how nontraditional actors are influencing international politics in the aftermath of the Cold War. The book shows how nontraditional issues such as drug trafficking, migration, the environment, and democratic stability have risen to prominence in the global agenda in the post-Cold War period. " — Dario Moreno, Florida International University

"The work makes a significant contribution to the understanding of new foci of security concerns without neglecting traditional ones. At the same time, it conjures up policy options for both state and nonstate actors. It will be an important addition to the growing body of analysis on the Caribbean reality and its future, at a time of globalization, regional integration, the creation of economic megablocs, and the emergence of new forms of threat to security. " — Cedric Grant, Clark Atlanta University