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Fifty Years of RevolutionPerspectives on Cuba, the United States, and the World$
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Soraya M. Castro Marino and John S. Reitan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813040233

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813040233.001.0001

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Transitology, Realpolitik—and Todo lo Contrario

Transitology, Realpolitik—and Todo lo Contrario

Old and New Futures in U.S.-Cuban Relations

(p.348) (p.349) 17 Transitology, Realpolitik—and Todo lo Contrario
Fifty Years of Revolution

Rafael M. Hernández

Lyse Hébert

University Press of Florida

In the 1970s and 1980s, academic research on Cuba's cold war foreign policy, and Cuban studies in general, moved beyond the paradigms that had prevailed in the 1960s and developed more elaborate and balanced approaches. Some applied modernization theory or realism theory or sought an explanation of the island's foreign relations in interdependence theory and in the study of internal and external dynamics of its economic system, as well as in elite approaches and psychoanalysis. As the conflict persisted and worsened, scholars reexamined existing analytical premises and to assess the explanatory power of the prevailing bipolar equation. It thus became possible to focus on the specific dynamics of political systems, national interests, motivations, and international alliances in each country, as well as on the roles of nongovernmental actors, new geopolitical contexts, power asymmetries, historical problems, and established perceptions, and to consider the actual role of ideology with respect to real politics. New research that emerged in the post–cold war period was devoted to Cuban transition, which paralleled expectations of the imminent fall of socialism on the island. Parallel, nonlinear circuits—which already exist to some extent—could evolve wherein both parties might find spaces for dialogue and cooperation.

Keywords:   transitology, realpolitik, Todo lo Contrario, U.S.-Cuban relations

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