£16.99 | $26.95

11 April 2013
ISBN: 9781848138667
288 pages
216mm x 138mm
Latin America

International Relations, Latin America, Development, Sociology and Social Policy

Also available as Hardback

Digital Inspection service link

Cuba and Its Neighbours

Democracy in Motion

Arnold August

In this groundbreaking book, Arnold August explores Cuba's unique form of democracy, presenting a detailed and balanced analysis of Cuba's electoral process and the state's functioning between elections. By comparing them with practices in the U.S., Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, August shows that people's participation in politics and society is not limited to a singular, U.S.- centric understanding of democracy.

Through this deft analysis, August illustrates how the process of democratization in Cuba is continually in motion and argues that a greater understanding of different political systems teaches us to not be satisfied with either blanket condemnations or idealistic political illusions.


'This book, a tour de force from an expert who clearly knows his field well, is one that goes out of its way to make us think about what we understand by 'democracy' and how we should view new manifestations in the 'Third World'. Not only is its conceptual and geographical scope admirably broad, but its familiar attention to the details of political participation are excellent, and, by taking a firm stance, the author forces us to address issues which are all too often taken for granted and left unquestioned.' - Antoni Kapcia, University of Nottingham

'A must-read for anybody seriously interested in Cuba and in the overall question of democracy and its practices.' - Claudia Kaiser-Lenoir, Tufts University

'A trailblazing perspective. August contrasts the experiences in Cuba and some Latin American countries, where participatory democracy is taking shape, to the pretences of the U.S. model. Compulsory reading.' - Claude Morin, Université de Montréal

'Arnold August cuts through the common propaganda about democracy in the U.S. and the supposed lack of democracy in Cuba. Where August’s earlier work on the Cuban political system opened a window to this forbidden island, Cuba and Its Neighbours deepens our understanding of Cuba’s participatory processes and shows how they have been shaped by Cuba’s revolutionary history.' - Cliff DuRand, Morgan State University, Baltimore

Table of Contents


Part 1: Clearing the Cobwebs Around Democracy
1. Democracy and U.S.-Centrism
2. Democracy in the U.S.
3. Exploring Democracies in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador

Part 2: Cuba: Constitutions, Elections and New States (1868-1976)
4. Participation in Constitutions, Elections and a New State (1868-1952)
5. Democracy, Elections and the New State
6. The 2011-12 Communist Party Congress and Conference: Democratization and the Press

Part 3: Contemporary Cuba: The Test for Democratization
6. The 2011-12 Communist Party Congress and Conference: Democratization and the Press
7. Elections in Contemporary Cuba
8. The ANPP and the Municipality: Functioning Between Elections

The Future of Democratization: Facing the Tests

About the Author:

Arnold August has an MA in political science from McGill University. The Montreal-based writer, journalist and lecturer is the author of Democracy in Cuba and the 1997–98 Elections. He has also contributed a chapter entitled “Socialism and Elections” to Azicri and Deal’s edited collection Cuban Socialism in a New Century.