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Andrea McKenzie-Howell

PhD Student

My research interests are primarily focused on the intricate and complex dynamics of decolonization and neocolonialism in the Caribbean region.  My research considers the intersection of law and society, examining how the legacy of slavery and colonialism in the Caribbean continues to influence and shape its legal and social infrastructure and institutions.

My key research areas are as follows:

  1. Decolonization Processes:
    -Investigating the historical and ongoing processes of decolonization in the Caribbean region.
    -Analyzing the role of legal frameworks in the region’s transition from colonial governance to sovereign nationhood.
  1. Neocolonialism and Legal Structures:
    -Examining the mechanisms of neocolonialism that persist in contemporary Caribbean societies, particularly through economic dependencies, political influences, and international law.
    -Assessing the influence of former colonial powers and contemporary global institutions on the Caribbean’s legal systems and policy-making processes.
    -Studying the legal responses, if any, to the effects of neocolonial practices on genuine independence and autonomy in the Caribbean region.
  1. Colonial Legacy and Institutional Development:
    -Analyzing how the region’s colonial histories have shaped current legal and social institutions in the Caribbean.
    -Investigating the legacy of colonial laws and their impact on modern legal framework and systems, including issues of land ownership, governance and human rights.
    -Exploring the societal implications of legal structures inherited from colonial rule and their role in perpetuating social inequalities.

Intersection of Law and Society:

  • Focusing on the interplay between legal norms and social practices in Caribbean contexts.
  • Understanding the role of law in social transformation and the pursuit of justice in a post-colonial Caribbean.
  • Engaging with theoretical and empirical research in inquiring on how legal institutions can be reformed to better serve the needs and aspirations of contemporary Caribbean populations.

The overall objectives for my area of focus are as follows:

  • To contribute to the academic discourse on decolonization and neocolonialism with a specific focus on the Caribbean.
  • To provide insights into how legal reforms can address the lingering effects of colonialism and provide equitable development throughout the Caribbean region.
  • To engage with policymakers, legal practitioners, and civil society in the Caribbean to support efforts towards decolonization and the dismantling of neocolonial structures.

Through my research interests and focus, I aim to highlight the critical role of law in shaping the Caribbean’s path to true autonomy and justice, offering scholarly contributions that inform both theoretical understandings and practical applications in the region’s ongoing struggle for decolonization and against neocolonialism.