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Creative Governance Increases Resilience in Small Nation States: A Case for Belize

FeaturesCreative Governance Increases Resilience in Small Nation States: A Case for Belize

There are a variety of governing and political systems that are practiced throughout the world; most fall within the Democratic, Communist and Socialist systems, with the remaining few being Monarchial, in addition to the recent growth of Theocratic rule by way of Islamic states. Of course, there exists many variations of these systems that one can explore. It is important to also mention, though, totalitarian, military and other forms of dictatorships.

The application herein is to Small Nation States in the Caribbean, Central America, Africa and the Pacific areas. This case is for Belize with its system of Parliamentary and Constitutional Democracy — where a novel concept of “Creative Governance” would increase resiliency, strengthen its collective identity, and provide safety nets from external shocks, thus ensuring its survival in a futuristic and global environment.

Undoubtedly, the Covid-19 pandemic has taken its toll on the global economy. Small nation states will certainly be impeded for years to come, and the potential for a failed state scenario must not be ignored. Therefore, it is extremely important for small nation states to improve and strengthen their political and economic systems to be better prepared for the future. A significant impediment to development in these small states are the huge divisions among their people and political institutions.

Belize and other small nation states will need to be creative in more ways than one to ensure their indefinite survival. First, they must lessen their division and unify their people under one umbrella: “country first”, and party and politics after. There’s a great need for collaboration, integration and importantly, reconciliation. Creative Governance comes under the tenets of coalition building in the private, public and political sectors. Coalition governance is difficult to achieve and takes many years to develop, but is important in states where the country’s sovereignty depends on it, Israel for example.

In Belize, the unfounded Guatemalan claim, the main impediment to our sovereignty, the high crime rate and gun/gang violence that is further eroding the country’s stability, as well as the economic situation brought on by Covid-19, also make the development of a Collaborative/Coalition approach to governance not only important, but a necessity. There has to be a more inclusive approach to governance. Small parties and independent candidates need to be more consistent and even collaborate to achieve greater success.

The benefits of Creative and Coalition governance are numerous. The greatest impediment is the prevalence of conflicts due to the larger number of players and ideas, but once there is a concerted effort to manage these conflicts constructively, success can be achieved. Additional benefits to the participation of independents and coalitions in governance is that area representatives are more committed to their constituency rather than party. Those who wish to govern and are sincere in their intentions will need to consider this approach — promoting reconciliation, collaboration and inclusion — and end the division that may eventually jeopardize the survival of the nation of Belize.

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