The newly formed Association of Caribbean States' (ACS) prospects for success at increasing cooperation among its members is evaluated. A combination of internal and external factors such as common concern with the deteriorating environmental quality of the Caribbean Sea and surrounding land areas, creation of NAFTA and Mercosur, and changing international political alliances contributed to formation of the ACS. Despite the stress placed on diversity and fragmentation as obstacles to cooperation within the region, it is argued that the Caribbean is less diverse than a number of individual countries elsewhere in the world. Past efforts to achieve international cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean are discussed and compared with the current effort. The paper concludes that the ACS faces numerous obstacles in the way of success but that, if these obstacles can be overcome, the new organization may pave the way for cooperation or even economic integration within this important region.
- Association of caribbean states
- Caribbean region
- Economic integration
- Pan-caribbean cooperation