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Plus ça change… A Historical Survey of Western Interference in Haiti

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Plus ça change… A Historical Survey of Western Interference in Haiti

Young, Christopher (2019) Plus ça change… A Historical Survey of Western Interference in Haiti. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

What historical lessons, positive or negative, can be gleaned from past Western interventionist activities within Haiti that have application to the desired future goal of rehabilitating or moving Haiti from fragile state status, to that of a fully functioning and stable member state within the international community of nations?
This dissertation aims to determine what historical lessons, positive or negative, can be gleaned from past Western interventionist activities in Haiti that are applicable to the desired future goal of rehabilitating or moving Haiti from fragile state status to functioning and stable state within the international community of nations. At the core of that problem is the need to determine how to restrain the impulses of external nations who obstruct or divert Haiti’s chosen path forward.
The findings show that the West has conducted a deliberate campaign against Haiti composed of three destabilizing elements: criminalization of opposition to interventions; economic warfare employing NGOs and SAP policies aimed at maintaining Haiti’s attractiveness as a source of cheap, plentiful labour; and a deliberate failure to exploit opportunities for fundamental, positive change in Haitian development. The analysis of Western interference in Haiti has exposed a number of trends, including the use of force to coerce money from the Haitian government; the deliberate undermining of Haitian sovereignty through constant interference in Haitian elections, despite free and fair elections being considered the bedrock of Western democracy; a preference for stability and the status quo in Haiti over social revolutionary trends; and an historical, targeted funding of Haitian security forces, military and police, despite both being the principal instruments of repression employed against Haitian attempts at social revolutionary change.
As a metanarrative, the dissertation brings together various micro-narratives which highlight Western impact on specific areas of Haitian culture, including colour and class, militarism, land, and the predatory state. Set within a chronological framework, the dissertation provides historical insight into practices which have had a significant influence on hindering peacebuilding generally. Understanding those practices and identifying lessons from historical analysis will prove useful in future peacebuilding work in Haiti and should help inform the development of other fragile states.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Young, Christopher
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:History
Date:4 November 2019
Thesis Supervisor(s):Chalk, Frank and Fick, Caroyln
ID Code:987018
Deposited By: CHRISTOPHER YOUNG
Deposited On:25 Nov 2020 16:43
Last Modified:25 Nov 2020 16:43
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