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Independent researcher @ Independent


Marilyn Grell-Brisk holds a PhD in Sociology and specialises in global structural inequality, hierarchy, power, and the connections between exploitative economic systems and climate change, air pollution exposure disparities, racism and othering. Her areas of specialty are the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Grell-Brisk engages in Black Study and is particularly interested in global-local social movements that affirm Black(ness) and Black futurity.

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Governance: CLR James


Citizenship Commodification in Perspective

In the 1990s commodification of citizenship (the transformation of citizenship, such that it becomes fully transactional and subject to the capitalist profit motive), exploded, not only in the small European islands like Cyprus and Malta, but also, throughout the Caribbean. The changing structure of the global economic system during the period, increasing global inequality, and a push by the Bretton Woods institutions for continued economic growth and independence in the developing world, set the stage for Caribbean islands like Dominica to embrace this new form of commodification as neoliberalism became the prevailing ideology throughout the globe. Still, Dominica’s implementation of this new citizenship program was and remains opaque; the process for obtaining citizenship is not properly vetted through the political or legislative system making it open to corruption, exploitation, and vulnerable to changing politics. I will open the black box of Dominica’s commodified citizenship program and demystify it with the hopes of setting the groundwork for analysing similar programs throughout the islands. I will also present an analysis of the program within a general framework of coloniality of power and disposability.

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