Date of Defense



Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Suhashni Datta-Sandhu

Second Advisor

Dr. Liesl Haas

Third Advisor

Dr. Benjamin Wilson


The Caribbean is a very diverse region, the islands which make up the region vary in size, topography and landscape.The colonial history of the islands has helped to diversify this region beyond physical characteristics. In addition, these variables in political and economical differences make it hard to pin down the characteristics that apply to the entire region. It presents a great challenge to characterize the region as a whole, in any one distinct frame of reference. There are for example many extreme cases which cannot be characterized within the framework set for the rest of the Caribbean. Cuba is a known example of such an extreme, fashioning a distinctly different political ideology from the rest of the region; another is Haiti which exemplifies extreme poverty. Political status in the region ranges from independent nations to overseas departments and dependencies. Yet beyond the differences there are numerous similarities which serve to unite the region. Usually of a more general nature, such similarities as a colonial history, historical sugar plantation economies, warm climates and rich cultural heritages, serve as uniting forces. The single most common characteristic that is today common to all Caribbean countries is tourism. The overwhelming majority of the island nations of the Caribbean are involved in the tourism travel trade in one way or another. Whether big or small the nations of the region have embraced tourism and have endeavored to use it as a 'passport' to development. Still the approaches to tourism development are many and varied; however, characteristics of foreign involvement in the industry are almost identical from island to island. Although Belize and Guyana are often considered to be a part of the Caribbean for the purposes of this paper they will not be considered. Focus will be put on the island nations of the region, particularly those of the English speaking Caribbean.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only