International relations and the shaping of state-societal relations : a postcolonial study
The thesis examined the role played by international and domestic influences in shaping the relationship between state and society in postcolonial societies. It argued that the nature of the state in the international system is the product of the historical processes of state and societal formation and must be studied as such. Therefore, it examined the evolution of state-societal relationship from colony to independent state in Saint Lucia. The examination is premised on the view that the state acts in two dimensions - the domestic and the international. The thesis therefore critiques traditional international relations theories which treat the state in its totality as an analytic abstraction, and argued that international relations theory can best explain the nature of the state when it brings into analysis the role of the domestic in shaping the state. Therefore, the nature of the state was examined as the interplay of the "domestic" and the "international". Three historical periods are examined to show how international and domestic influences shaped state-societal relations and generated conflicts which caused transformative events. These events in turn caused fundamental changes to the state-societal relationship. All three periods showed that the nature of state and society is rooted in the dominance of external forces over domestic forces. The early state originated in the colonial experience which lasted until independence in 1979. That state was not a product of society and did not enjoy an organic relationship with society. As the state evolved, the level of influence of the domestic was shown to increase. The independent state, though sovereign, was itself a product of external influences and remains influenced by external forces. However, the thesis showed that in the post-independence period these influences are forcing integration between state and society.