The 23rd Annual SALISES Conference (Virtual) will be held May 3-4, 2022 under the theme "Caribbean Lives, Disruptions, Resilience and the Way Forward."
We live in times of crisis. The signs of a change of epoch are right here. The contemporary is shaped by the interacting and converging crises of the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, rising inequality and contests besetting the neoliberal cosmovision. Altogether this is set against a backdrop of shifting international hierarchical power relations. The quests for human dignity and protection of the Earth’s biosphere beckon the reconstitution of knowing and sensing. This calls into question dominant Western categories of thoughts, ‘best practice’ and late modern subject formation and expectations. In a word, the rhetoric of modernity has to be reset as we ruse with the consequences of coloniality, ways of organizing society, state, and the economy within the biosphere, and navigate geopolitical and international relations.
From the vantage point of Caribbean countries, the pandemic has led to disruptions of a multifaceted kind. These rest atop the challenges of rising inequalities and social exclusion that arise from limited economic diversification, winner-takes-all electoral politics, and an anemic Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME). However, the Governments have sustained appeals for inclusion in global governance bodies for the shaping of global rules, norms, standards and regulations; for small island-state recognition; for reparations; and for concessionary finance that allows for greater room to maneuver on the part of debtor governments. This is as much a showcase of enlightened engagement with international institutions as it is a signal of the region’s collective sense of its ontological historical emergence and ways of being in a world with diverse power centres. The scope for diverse social imaginaries is real and possible in the tasks of refashioning sustainable development, regional integration and advancing human dignity.
The 23rd Annual SALISES Conference invites participants to discuss, explore or reflect upon these appeals as well as the tensions, contradictions and conflicts lurking behind official state discourses about growth, development, trade and investment – economic, social and political. These are power conflicts heating up among ministers, between ministers and public servants, among scholars, policy practitioners, activists as well as among and between social movements as we approach post-pandemic transitions.
The hope is that the papers and discussions emanating point toward a multitude of possibilities for the Caribbean in the shaping of: a new social charter of human rights and freedoms, in enterprise development and models of entrepreneurship, in tackling rising crime, youth unemployment, inclusionary governance, and in re-purposing Caribbean integration, its foreign relations, trade and investment policy, leading to a rationale behind reconstituting the role of the State and civil society in shaping developmental futures.
In this regard, we welcome contributions from a wide variety of disciplinary and multidisciplinary persuasions. The goal is to facilitate engagement and exchange among media professionals, academics, policy professionals, civil society groups and students geared towards a resilience that leads to the flourishing that exults – Caribbean lives! Critically the upcoming 23rd Annual SALISES Conference extends the effort to challenge the social and institutional power that sustains current models and ways of thinking.