Into the Critical Juncture: Principal Dilemmas and Possible Scenarios

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


The inter-generational transfer of power from the Castro to the post-Castro era represents what we may call a critical juncture in Cuba’s contemporary political history. How much space will be allowed for deeper changes, particularly regarding the paradigmatic challenges ahead? Among these are inevitable requirements for decentralisation, horizontal forms of interest representation, transparency and accountability, economic and political pluralism and participation, legalisation and regulation of non-state business, reconstruction of the welfare state through a mixed economy. We discuss whether Cuba is suffering from non-curable democratic birth defects. Drawing on experiences from other post-communist transformations, one of the big challenges is how to handle the incoherence of partial reform, tending to release a domino effect spinning out of control. The question of how power, hegemony and legitimacy will evolve during the critical juncture is crucial in order to imagine future scenarios for Cuba, and whether negotiation options will emerge. On the basis of trends during the last ten years and the remaining challenges, we are outlining the following four transformation scenarios for Cuba past the critical juncture, between neo-patrimonialism, capitalist neo-authoritarianism and a mixed economy with more participatory polity, up against collapse and state failure.


Critical juncture Post-communism Paradigmatic challenges Democratic birth defects Counter-hegemony Negotiation options Transformation scenarios State failure 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scanteam a.s.OsloNorway

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