AuthorFORSTROM, MARTIN DYLAN
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractAs the only developed country with a mostly publicly-owned and centrally-planned economy, sociological study of Cuba offers profound opportunities for theoretical and practical consideration of the viability of that model. Hitherto unseen levels of support for socialism among Americans and a renewed European Left in the wake of the Great Recession and worsening human-caused climate change provide a context of renewed interest. Cuba’s geographic location, high standard of living, ethnic/racial diversity, and relative cultural liberalism, further, make it the uniquely best-suited counterexample to the “end of history” model of (neo)liberal democratic consensus. While limited, partial analyses of the Cuban system abound, attempts to synthesize this information and meaningfully address its unique development of the Marxist-Leninist single-party state as a legitimate form of society are nearly nonexistent. I will argue that the system’s survival and significant adaptations from its past as a Soviet client state warrant a second look as a viable alternative type of social organization. A review and synthesis of the social scientific literature in addition to notions of democracy and attempts to quantify utilitarian function like Happy Planet Index demonstrates that, more so than untested models, the Cuban one presents a viable if very imperfect example of equitable sustainability.
Degree ProgramHonors College
Latin American Studies