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Title: Neighbourhood committees and popular courts in the social transformation of Cuba
Author: Booth, David K.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3470 5365
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1973
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This dissertation is a study of the role in the political and social transformation of Cuba of two of the most distinctive institutional products of the Castroist regime's pursuit of mass-''participation" in the construction of socialism: the Committees for the Defence of the Revolution (CDRs) and the Popular Courts (Tribunales Populares). Based upon field-work conducted during the author's fifteen month stay in Cuba in 1968-69, the dissertation documents the genesis , development and day-to-day functioning of these formations up to mid-1973, employing for this purpose the findings of an intensive investigation of organisational life in a selected working class neighbourhood of Havana, as well as printed sources. The role of the institutional framework of the revolutionary regime in fostering or inhibiting significant social change is further probed in an analysis of the problems of change corresponding to the trilogy sex, religion and colour. Whilst three phases are distinguished in the evolution of the CDRs since 1960, it is found that this organisation has always functioned more effectively as an agency of political 'integration' than as a counter-weight to bureaucratic forms of rule. Both positive and negative features are ascribed to the Popular Court experiment, which is expected to have a permanent influence on the development of the judicial system following the letter's impending "unification". Adopting an interpretation of the legacy of the pre-revolutionary society which conflicts at certain points with previous treatments, the analysis of contemporary social trends concludes that progress in this area since 1959 has been uneven. This is attributed to overall deficiencies in the institutional framework of the regime, especially to the absence of organisations of the soviet type and to the continued weakness of the Cuban Communist Party.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available