The book argues that the frontier, usually associated with the era of colonial conquest, has great, continuing and under explored relevance to the Caribbean region. Identifying the frontier as a moral, ideational and physical boundary between what is imagined as civilization and wilderness, the book seeks to extend frontier analysis by focusing on the Eastern Caribbean multi island state of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The continuing relevance of the concept of frontier, and allied notions of civilization and wilderness, are illuminated through an analysis of the ways in which SVG is perceived and experienced by both outsiders to the society and its insiders. Using literary sources, biographies and autobiography, the book shows how St. Vincent is imagined and made sense of as a modern frontier; a society in the balance between an imposed civilized order and an untameable wild that always encroaches, whether in the form of social dislocation, the urban presence of the ‘Wilderness people’ or illegal marijuana farming in the northern St. Vincent hills. The frontier as examined here has historically been and remains very much a global production. Simultaneously, it is argued that contemporary processes of globalization shape the development of tourism and finance sectors, as well as patterns of migration, they connect to shifting conceptions of the civilized and the wild, and have implications for the role of the state and politics in frontier societies.
Since the publication of Immigration and the Boundaries of Citizenship (1992) and Transnational Citizenship: Membership and Rights in International Migration (1994), Rainer Bauböck has been at the forefront of research on the political theory of membership. Bauböck's work is distinctive in at least three respects.
First, his approach to normative theorizing is grounded in empirical research concerning the membership practices of polities and the dynamics that shape these practices. The point of normative theorizing for Bauböck is to guide action by articulating ideals for a plausible world. We may think of this project as seeking to reconcile the liberal-republican ideals of constitutional democracy that have emerged within the modern state with the contemporary challenges posed by historical and current migration flows in ways that are sensitive to the varied types of polity and conditions for their stable reproduction as contexts of justice that compose our complex and multi-levelled political order.
Second, whereas the majority of the burgeoning literature on the political theory of migration focuses on the migrant as immigrant and on immigration as a democratic challenge, Bauböck has consistently pioneered a transnational approach to the political theory of migration that focuses on the migrant as both emigrant and immigrant who possesses civic statuses in two (or more) states. This phenomenon of overlapping membership or “transnational” membership is at the centre of Bauböck's reflections on the future of citizenship in an increasingly interconnected world.
Third, while theorizing citizenship is typically directed at reflection on the state, Bauböck's work extends the theory of citizenship across multiple levels of governance to encompass municipal membership and supranational citizenship as well as state membership not only to offer a more comprehensive theory but also, and perhaps more importantly, to draw out the salience of the type of polity for normative reflection on the terms of membership that are justifiable for it.
All of these features can easily be discerned in Bauböck's lead essay for this volume which marks the summation and synthesis of his normative inquiries since the publication of Transnational Citizenship and the fullest articulation thus far of the stakeholder principle which he has proposed as a response to the problems of political membership that characterize our contemporary political reality. At the same time, this principle is situated here within a much fuller discussion of current debates concerning the “demos problem” and Bauböck explores its distinct but complementary relationships to the all affected interests and all subjected persons principles as well as its differentiated implications for different types of polity.
Bauböck's debates with his interlocutors in this volume range across methodological, conceptual, normative and empirical issues, offering a rich dialogue on the stakes and challenges of theorizing democratic inclusion in our contemporary political landscape.