This dissertation examines Haiti’ʹs crucial role in the re-making of the Atlantic World in the early 19th century. The point of departure for this work is Haiti’s Declaration of Independence in 1804 and my research explores how events in Haiti raised profound questions about revolutionary legitimacy and national sovereignty. The emergence of Haiti as an independent nation fueled unprecedented international debates about racial hierarchy, the connections between freedom and sovereignty, and the intertwining of ideological and political relationships among nations and empires. While these debates came to be resolved in part during the next two centuries, they remain alive today both for specific nations and for the international community.
In Haiti, decentralization as a development tool has been a part of the political discourse for over thirty years, since the end of the 29-year father-son Duvalier dictatorship in 1986. However, Haiti’s recent progress – specifically in terms of fiscal decentralization – has been largely credited to the United States Agency for International Development’s Limyè ak Òganizasyon pou Kolektivite yo Ale Lwen (LOKAL+) program though it has not been readily apparent to what extent enhancements in local revenue have impacted public expenditures.