Tuesday, 27 February 2018

BOOK OF THE MOMENT: Ambassador Richard Bernal highlights regional cooperation and J’ca-US relations in latest effort

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Bernal's book recounts much of his experiences as Jamaica's man in Washington.

WITH his richly insightful books and academic papers, Ambassador Richard Bernal puts his much sought-after expertise on matters concerning regional cooperation and international relations in accessible format for his readers across Jamaica, the Caribbean and elsewhere.

Now comes his latest offering, a re-issue of The Influence of Small States on Superpowers: Jamaica and US Foreign Policy, which has been hailed as “an important contribution to the understanding of regional politics, economics, history and international relations.”

Examining such themes and ideas as ‘Small States and International Relations’, ‘How Foreign Governments Attempt to Influence US Foreign Policy’, ‘Foreign Aid and Debt Relief’ and ‘Counter Narcotics Cooperation’, the book is at its core a profound record of Bernal’s time in Washington as Jamaica’s Ambassador from 1991 to 2001.

At the same time, this latest sample of the ambassador’s writing, packing some 456 pages, offers observations on how small nations can influence the foreign policy actions of much larger countries on specific issues of importance.

But Small States on Superpowers dually explores the importance of framing relevant issues within the context of US policy priorities in order to build momentum for progress and ultimate resolution, while recognizing and celebrating the many avenues of access in Washington that allow nations the size of Jamaica to exercise targeted, meaningful influence. 

Still, it is said, the book’s message for CARICOM territories is most urgent via its reminder of what and how much can be achieved when small states find ways to work together. 

Bernal’s previous books include Dragon in the Caribbean and Globalization, Trade and Economic Development: the Cariforum-EU Economic Partnership Agreement. The Influence of Small States on Superpowers was published by UWI Press.

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