A Trip to Paradise: Benefiting from Globalization, or Investing in Inequality? A Policy Proposal to Improve the Conditions of Afro-Bahamian Nationals in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas in Public Education, Employment, and Contracting
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This study explains how, after careful examination of different preference programs and other programs in the Bahamas, more can be accomplished to make Bahamian nationals more successful in their homeland. This study paints the picture of foreign investments namely in the tourism sector and preference programs in the Bahamas as a life preserver for Bahamian nationals. This life preserver is connected by a never-ending rope that twists and turns. The strung-out-life preserver keeps Bahamian nationals afloat, but keeps them treading water in low-wage blue-collar jobs, minimal levels of higher education, and few and minimal contracts. The next chapter of this study will describe historically the international political economy of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. This chapter will focus in three specific sectors: education, employment, and contracting. I will examine the influence of foreign investments, foreign politics, and foreign economic struggles on life in the Bahamas. In this chapter I also introduce and synthesize a variety of theoretical frameworks on globalization. In Chapter Three, I will argue that the current preference programs in the Bahamas are like a double-edged sword in nature; Bahamian nationals are appeased enough by the little help they receive from different programs and opportunities offered by foreign investments> yet these programs keep them at a low socio-economic status that does not allow them to break through the glass ceiling. This will include an analysis of the programs currently in place. In Chapter Three, I maintain that the legality, value, or success of preference programs or affirmative action policies that I recommend down the road can only be discovered, or at least maintained through careful analysis of how each program is put into practice. I draw on several theoretical frameworks to makes my analysis. I use the "World Systems Theory" as first espoused by Immanuel Wallerstein to challenge the notion that globalization strips resources like land, labor, and capital from developing states to developed ones. Next, I question contemporary globalization and democratization theory to understand if poorer nations need to modernize and adapt to the global economy in order to succeed. Finally I draw on a national autonomy perspective to analyze whether the rights and freedoms of autonomous nations are being lost in globalization. In Chapter Four, I recommend what the Bahamian government and foreign investors ought to be doing to help Bahamian nationals. As mentioned above, I suggest different affirmative action programs to help Bahamian nationals. I defend my recommendations against criticism coming from scholars relying on the same theoretical frameworks used throughout this study. Finally, I explain how this case study demonstrates not just one of these theories can be considered the theory on globalization, but rather a synthesis of all three is needed.