Gonsalves’ book signals new mode of leadership
The book recently published by Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves restores hope that the small but powerful intellectual-leader tradition will not die when certain leaders move on.
Dr Tennyson Joseph, lecturer at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus made this observation about ‘Globalised. Climatised.
Stigmatised’, while delivering a review of the Finance Minister’s first book at the Calliaqua Town Hall on Monday, April 29.
Joseph praised Gonsalves for taking the time to write the book, adding that the writer has now joined the group of political leaders who do not see a separation between making history on one hand, and thinking and writing on the other.
“It would be a huge mistake if we were to underestimate the book’s importance as a statement of maturation of the generation-in waiting insofar as the trajectory of political leadership in the Caribbean is concerned.
“No one should miss the importance of the book’s publication as a signal of the readiness of the next-in-line generation to carve for itself a new mould that breaks away from the anti-intellectualism that has, with a few minor but prominent exceptions, marked Caribbean leadership, for the most part, for far too long,” Dr Joseph stated.
He added that personally, the publication of this book is like his generation’s “Redemption Song” and has rekindled his hope and confidence that at least some elements of the second level of Caribbean political leadership is aware of the existence of an alternative model of political leadership.
“After reading the book, I was left extremely satisfied that a leading political personality from my generation had demonstrated concretely that he had the wherewithal to marry political leadership with intellectual reflection, and to do it well,” the lecturer told the gathering.
He added that the book makes a marked and very important contribution to an existing academic conversation on the international political economy of small island states in the world system.
Joseph said that in the last decade, several papers and books have been written on the separate issues of climate change, financial blacklisting, uneven terms of trade, the politics of aid, IMF structural adjustment, and on the impact of the ideology and practice of neo-liberalism on the independence of formerly colonized states, but this book is the only one that pulls all of these questions together in one coherent argument, and uses the small island developing state as a unit of analysis for building a case for understanding the impact of global developments.
“Camillo makes it clear that while much of his discussion is framed around the Caribbean he wants the book to be understood as a discussion on the political-economy of all small island states since there are intrinsic political effects and consequences inherent in smallness and in islandness,” said Joseph.
The university lecturer however said in the book, Camillo spends too much time running from the responsibility of engaging in ideological debate.
“This is seen in his oftentimes too persistent insistence that what is required are pragmatic responses to the global challenges,” said Joseph.
The launch also heard from Camillo himself, his father Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, social commentator Renwick Rose and lawyer Rochelle Forde.
The book was published by Strategy Forum Inc and many be purchased locally or on Amazon.