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De Coteau, Dawn

De Coteau, Dawn

Chair of Transparency Action Grenada @ Transparency Action Grenada


Dawn De Coteau was awarded her Doctorate from University of Liverpool in 2021 having successfully defended her Thesis entitled: Corruption in Caribbean Politics - Examining Cultural Tolerance. Her thesis focused on researching cultural elements in the Caribbean and the role this plays in anti-corruption regime. Key to this was examining the Caribbean 500 year colonial history and it's social and economic consequence. Dawn is the Chair of Transparency Action Grenada and a Barrister and Attorney at Law practising in England & Wales and several Caribbean jurisdictions.

Geographical location :

Research Area and Interest : anti-corruption regime

Social Media


Borders, Politics, Corruption


'Massa Day Done' or 'Same Old Khaki Pants' ? - Contextualising Caribbean political corruption
Summary: This paper is based on a chapter from my PhD dissertation 'Corruption in Caribbean Politics – Examining Cultural Tolerance'. It presents the relevant historical, political and socio-economic factors necessary to consider when constructing a Caribbean- informed analytical framework to examine the origins, development and continuity of political corruption in the region. This perspective along with the evidence cited attempts to address the gap in literature on current Caribbean political corruption, generated within the region. It is especially pertinent at a time when discourse in the Anglophone Caribbean is rapidly developing responses to the issues of Reparations, BLM, Decolonization and Republic status in addition to concerns over official corruption in the BVI and CBI programmes in the Eastern Caribbean. The continuity of official corruption, rooted in exploitative colonialism founded on the plantation system and slavery, is traced from inception, through Emancipation, movements toward self-representation and regional unification, Labour activism, universal suffrage and nascent political formations to Independence, Decolonization and the post/neo colonial landscape. The power and economic inequities of the colonial model are examined in terms of Caribbean contributions to European economic development and industrialization and in the patron/client, authoritarian governance style. These are features which persist in societies with no tradition of democracy, grappling with a postcolonial legacy of under-development and economic disadvantage. Small island states in the Eastern Caribbean, hampered by the inappropriately imposed Westminster parliamentary model which has facilitated 'elected dictatorships' unchecked by official opposition, continue the authoritarian/ clientelism style of colonial governance, with its attendant opportunities for corruption. Cultural tolerance of the status quo has evolved as a matter of survival.

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