Publication Date




Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


International Studies (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Bruce M. Bagley

Second Committee Member

Roger Kanet

Third Committee Member

Laura Gomez-Mera

Fourth Committee Member

Anthony T. Bryan


Did the United States neglect or increase its engagement with the Caribbean during the twenty-first century? I argue that from the Bush to the Obama administrations (2001-2016), there was an effort by the United States to increase engagement with the Caribbean nations. My main research question was, why did the United States increase its engagement with the Caribbean during the twenty-first century? I focus on the Anglophone Caribbean and I examine the cases of The Bahamas, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana. By measuring engagement based on levels of U.S. foreign assistance, legislative changes, regional initiatives, and high-level diplomacy, I demonstrate that there was an increase rather than decrease in U.S. activities in the Caribbean over the last fifteen years. My results show that engagement activities in the Caribbean fell into five categories: security, energy, health, development, and humanitarian. By examining the variables U.S. security interests, U.S. economic interest, political ideology and development concerns, I conclude that American engagement was driven by a combination of factors, but principally by U.S. security concerns. Security however from a U.S. perspective was viewed as a multidimensional concept therefore funding in areas of development, health and energy was part of a broader national security strategy. There was much consistency in policies from conservative to liberal administrations given the consensus that a stable and prosperous Caribbean is in the interest of the United States.


Caribbean; United States; Engagement; Foreign Assistance; Foreign Relations.

Available for download on Friday, May 08, 2020