“Enlightening and provocative”, “an important and timely publication” and “a useful study on our institutional framework in the Caribbean” are some of the words used to describe the latest work of political scientist, Cynthia Barrow-Giles – The National Integrity System and Governance in the Commonwealth Caribbean.
The 14-chapter book examines the National Integrity System (NIS), an international anti-corruption framework, and how the principles outlined in it have or have not been applied in the Caribbean region, especially in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) member countries and Barbados.
Barrow-Giles stated, “The book is not about corruption per se; it focuses on the potential for corruption owing to institutional weaknesses in the region.”
Specifically, “The book is a collection of newspaper articles on the state of play with the NIS in the Caribbean. It represents over two decades of work around the NIS, concerns related to the perpetuation of corruption in the Caribbean, and the reluctance of the political elite to deal with its presence and take proactive measures to manage it.”
Former head of the Department of Government, Sociology and Social Work and publisher of the book Dr Farley Brathwaite, said it was “enlightening and provocative” and commended Barrow-Giles for using a combination of theory and empirical evidence to put it together. In reviewing the publication, Josh Drayton, a lecturer at UWI’s St Augustine Campus stated, “She has sought to debunk the widely held myth about places that seem ‘clean’ according to the global index, and uses anecdotal coverage and investigations especially those incidents highlighted in the media to illustrate her point. It will be a good reference text for students looking at governance and corruption in the Caribbean. [Barrow-Giles] balances the role of academic and public advocate, leading into the debate and helping the wider public to understand these concepts.”
Meanwhile, current head of the Department of Government, Sociology and Social Work Dr Tennyson Joseph said “There are often misconceptions about political scientists and the work they do, since a lot of our public discourse is criticism of public policy decisions and those who make them, which is a problem in small societies like ours. This book is a counter-narrative to what people think of political scientists, and it is an important contribution to political science, public policy and governmental research in the Caribbean.”
During the book launch held at the 3Ws Oval at UWI Cave Hill Campus, copies were presented to Barbados’ Ombudsman, Valton Bend; former Prime Minister of DominicaEdison James, and Director of the National Library Service Loleta Parris.