Projects, Processes, Politics
Edited by Susan L. Robertson, Kris Olds, Roger Dale and Que Anh Dang
Chapter 10: Transregionalism and the Caribbean higher educational space
This chapter sets out to survey the origins and consequences of the shift of a regional governance mechanism from an ‘immature’ to a ‘mature’ form of regionalism, and reflect on its influence on the coordination of activities of higher education across the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)leading to what can be referred to as ‘transregionalism’.The central argument in this chapter is that: (1) the absence of supra-nationality within CARICOM’s governance structure led to what is referred to as a form of ‘immature regionalism’, where decisions made at the regional level were not necessarily implemented at the member state level; and that (2) what is referred to as ‘mature regionalism’ has emerged as a governance mechanism aimed at ensuring that regional decisions are implemented at the national level. In essence, the criterion of the ‘maturity’ of the regionalism is the degree to which policy decisions agreed upon at by Heads of Government, the highest decision making body, or by other institutions of CARICOM will be operationalized into the domestic laws of member states across the region. As a result, rather than such collective decisions having to be approved separately by all members, they will ‘have the force of law throughout the region’. It seems clear that the model for ‘mature’ regionalism is the EU, where Community rules cannot be overturned or ignored at the member state level. As the Lewis Report, ‘Managing Mature Regionalism’, put it: Consistent with proposals to improve the effectiveness of Caribbean integration institutions based on relevant EU [European Union] experiences, it is proposed that the system of Community Law already recognised in the provisions of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, should be amplified to cater for the continuous creation of Community Law through the organs and institutions of the Caribbean Community. This should be achieved through the instrumentality of collaboration between the Conference of the Heads of Government and Ministerial Councils (including the Legal Affairs Committee) on the one hand and the Commission on the other. (Lewis, 2006: 6) Following from this, in this chapter I argue that the Caribbean higher educational space (CHES) can be seen as a form of transregionalism, which will be taken as representing a particular way of conceptualizing the different forms of coordination of regional governance mechanisms or its ‘metagovernance’ (Jessop, 2000, 2004). Here I make a distinction between governance mechanisms, the coordinating of complex organizations, and system and governance activities – that is the funding, provision, ownership and regulation of education (Dale, 2005). In this context, transregionalism represents the shared ‘space between and across regions in which its constituent parts (individuals, communities and organizations) operate [sic]’ (Dent, 2003: 224). Metagovernance is seen, not as mode of governance, but rather a way of explicating the forming of self-organization that is reshaping the framework within which collaboration and social learning are developed and coordinated (Jessop, 2004).
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