Sub-elites as fiduciary gatekeepers of global elites: A fiscal anthropology of the Cayman Islands and offshore financial industry

Author: 
Date created: 
2014-11-25
Identifier: 
etd8830
Keywords: 
Caribbean elites
Durable inequality
Sub-elites
Offshore financial center
Caribbean
Cayman Islands
Tax haven
Abstract: 

The Cayman Islands facilitate some of the largest international financial flows. Despite international pressures, they continue to service international
networks of corporations and wealthy elites unperturbed. Few ethnographic studies of offshore financial centers exist because of the private nature of their professionals who uphold strict codes of confidentiality. This thesis describes the sub-elite professional operators of the Cayman Islands and explains the Island’s transition from a modest maritime
economy to one of the most powerful finance-based economies in the world. In
exchange for material success, the Cayman Islands has sequestered its indigenous populations’ identity in favour of a stronger, prestigious and more unified identity as an international offshore financial center. Through ethnography, I delineate how sub-elites have carefully orchestrated the Islands’ development to their interests and manipulated its political economy, in part by de-legitimizing Caymanian political assertions, therefore silencing their voices, undermining their citizenship, and de-legitimizing their claim to their Island’s own self-governance.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
Copyright remains with the author. The author granted permission for the file to be printed and for the text to be copied and pasted.
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Robert Anderson
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
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