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Title: The dense web : local governance and popular participation in Revolutionary Cuba
Author: Collins, Lauren B. S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 2669
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2018
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Drawing on a range of primary and secondary sources, including Cuban scholarship which has been overlooked by other non-Cuban scholars, this thesis traces the evolution of local government and popular participation from the overthrow of the Batista regime in 1959 to the present day, and in so doing, it exposes multiple sites for participation in the business of local governance which are available to the average Cuban citizen. By examining the municipal election process, mechanisms for close contact between citizens and their elected delegates, and the relationship between the mass organisations and the Communist Party, this study illuminates the interface between state and populace, and demonstrates that popular participation at the level of the community is linked to domestic national policy-making. Furthermore, evidence is presented which demonstrates that the evolution of local Cuban polity is affected though continuous review of local government practice and is itself a participatory process. Decades of popular participation in local affairs have developed and strengthened the capacity for collective action, and this thesis assesses its contribution to the remarkable survival of Cuba’s socialist project after the collapse of the Soviet bloc. As the revolutionary leadership expanded opportunities for popular participation whilst continuing to maintain control over decisions it considered were necessary for economic development, for the maintenance of national unity, and for the development of Che Guevara’s New Man (and Woman), tensions were generated between localism and centralism, and between pragmatism and ideology. Responses to these tensions can be seen in the contemporary Cuban scholarship presented in the final chapter of the thesis. This thesis makes a sustained case for the importance of local government to the revolutionary leadership and argues that no assessment of the Cuban polity can claim to be comprehensive without taking local government into account.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: F1201 Latin America (General) ; JS Local government. Municipal government