More Pluralism, or Continued Authoritarianism?

  • Vegard ByeEmail author
Part of the Studies of the Americas book series (STAM)


This is the first of three chapters attempting to analyse how the political arena has evolved during the period studied in this book, including the expected impact of the 2019 constitutional reform. We are asking whether there is increasing space for pluralism in civil society, the academic world and the media, and what role the churches are playing. We are distinguishing between dissenters—working for the overthrow of the regime—and what we call ‘the grey zone’ of actors working for more reform and dialogue. The impact of migration reform and the informatics revolution is assessed, including on the role of independent information actors. Can we see the emergence of agents of change? The other side of this coin is whether there are signs of decreasing political authoritarianism, based on an assessment of new patterns of pluralism, ideology, mobilisation and leadership.


Pluralism Ideology Information monopoly Civil society Academia Dissenters Agents of change 


  1. August, Arnold. 2013. Cuba and its Neigbours—Democracy in Motion. London and New York: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  2. Brown, Archie. 2009. The Rise and Fall of Communism. New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  3. Cameron, Marce. 2016. Struggle Over the Cuban Press (I–III). International Journal of Socialist Renewal (reposted from Cuba’s Socialist Renewal—September 12, 2016) (reproduced in ASCE News No. 731).Google Scholar
  4. Castro Ruz, Raúl. 2016. Informe Central al 7mo Congreso del Partido Comunista de Cuba. Downloaded 17.04.16.
  5. Chaguaceda, Armando, and Marie L. Geoffray. 2015. Cuba: Dimensiones y transformaciones político-institucionales de un modelo en transición. In Cuba: Ajuste o transición? Impacto de la reforma en el contexto del restablecimiento de las relaciones con Estados Unidos, ed. Velia C. Bobes. Flacso México: Ciudad de México.Google Scholar
  6. Frank, Marc. 2013. Cuban Revelations: Behind the Scenes in Havana. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.Google Scholar
  7. Gainsborough, Martin. 2010. Vietnam: Rethinking the State. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  8. Geoffray, Marie L. 2012. Culture, politique et contestation à Cuba (1989–2009): Une sociologie politique des modes non conventionnels d’action collective en contexte autoritaire. Paris: Institut d’études politiques.Google Scholar
  9. ———. 2014. Channelling Protest in Illiberal Regimes: The Cuban Case Since the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Journal of Civil Society 10 (3): 223–238. Scholar
  10. Göbel, Christian, and Lynette Ong. 2012. Social Unrest in China. In Long Briefing. London: Europe China Research and Academic Network.Google Scholar
  11. Hernández, Rafael. 2014. Demografía política e institucionalidad: Apuntes sociológicos sobre las estructuras políticas en Cuba. Espacio Laical 2: 32–43.Google Scholar
  12. Hoffmann, Bert. 2016. Bureaucratic Socialism in Reform Mode: The Changing Politics of Cuba’s Post-Fidel Era. Third World Quarterly 37 (9): 1730–1744. Abingdon: Routledge.
  13. Kornai, János. 1992. The Socialist System: The Political Economy of Communism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Linz, Juan J., and Alfred Stepan. 1996. Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Monreal, Pedro. 2015. Actualización del modelo o reforma del estado? Una lectura política del cambio económico en Cuba. Cuba Posible, Published 18.03.2015.
  16. Pedraza, Silvia. 2007. Political Disaffection in Cuba’s Revolution and Exodus. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Piñeiro Harnecker, Camila. 2012. Visiones sobre el socialismo que guían los cambios actuales en Cuba. Revista Temas (Havana), April–June 2012, No. 70.Google Scholar
  18. Przeworski, Adam. 1991. Democracy and the Market: Political and Economic Reforms in Eastern Europe and Latin America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Rojas, Rafael. 2015. La democracia postergada. Pluralismo civil y autoritarismo político en Cuba. In Ajuste o Transición? Impacto de la reforma en el contexto del restablecimiento de las relaciones con Estados Unidos, ed. Velia C. Bobes. Mexico City: Flacso México.Google Scholar
  20. Sánchez Villaverde, Ricardo. 1995. La informatización de la sociedad: Un arma de guerra del carril II. CID FAR (A Cuban Army Publication).Google Scholar
  21. Terrero, Ariel. 2014. Doce economistas en pugna. Cubaprofunda. Havana.
  22. Törnquist, Olle. 2013. Assessing Dynamics of Democratisation. Transformative Politics, New Institutions, and the Case of Indonesia. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. de Vylder, Stefan, and Adam Fforde. 1996. From Plan to Market: The Economic Transition in Vietnam. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  24. Wig, Ståle. Forthcoming. The Sociality of Self-employment. Inside Cuba’s Emerging Private Sector. Doctoral thesis, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scanteam a.s.OsloNorway

Personalised recommendations