Between Self-Determination and Dependency analyses the nature and trajectory of Jamaica's foreign relations from 1972 to 1989. The central argument is that the relative autonomy of the Jamaican state declined due to the evolution of a new international regime which in effect disallowed the political, social and economic experimentation originally envisioned. Neither the attempt at radical nationalism by the People's National Party, nor the 'accommodationist' stance of the Jamaica Labour Party served to reduce Jamaica's structural dependency.
The analysis factors in the political and economic interests and policies of both domestic and foreign social forces as they negotiated the foreign policies of the Jamaican state. Thus, the text employs a more holistic perspective. It departs from earlier studies that tended to focus on the diplomatic history of the country's foreign relations without illuminating the various co-determinants that defined the context of state action.