People's Power: Cuba's Experience with Representative Government

Overview

People's Power presents a theoretical, historical, and contemporary analysis of representative government in Cuba. It explains how the Cuban model was built on the theoretical foundations set in Rousseau, Marx, and Lenin, and the historical precedents of the Paris Commune, the 1905 and 1917 Soviets, and the pre- and post-Stalin years of the Soviet Union. The book's primary focus is on the municipal level, but it also contains important material on the national and provincial elected bodies. People's Power also ...
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Boulder, CO 1999 Cuba's experience with representative government. Xi, 284p., original cloth binding, inscribed by Roman, very good condition, dj.

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Hardcover Fine 0813335868 Westview Press hardcover w/dust jacket, 1999, 1st edition, unused, No marks/tears or defects...as New/Fine...New mylar cover, bubble-wrapped and ... mailed in a Box w/delivery confirmation. Read more Show Less

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Overview

People's Power presents a theoretical, historical, and contemporary analysis of representative government in Cuba. It explains how the Cuban model was built on the theoretical foundations set in Rousseau, Marx, and Lenin, and the historical precedents of the Paris Commune, the 1905 and 1917 Soviets, and the pre- and post-Stalin years of the Soviet Union. The book's primary focus is on the municipal level, but it also contains important material on the national and provincial elected bodies. People's Power also explores firsthand the more recent people's councils and workers' parliaments.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Focusing primarily on the municipal level but also presenting material on the national and provincial elected bodies and the newer people's councils and workers' parliaments, Roman (behavioral and social sciences, City U. of New York) offers a theoretical, historical, and contemporary analysis. He finds theoretical foundations in Rousseau, Marx, and Lenin and historical precedents in the Paris Commune, the 1905 and 1917 Soviets, and the Soviet Union before and after Stalin. His coverage extends from the various experiments after the triumph of the revolution in 1959 through effects of the 1992 Constitution and election law, to the present. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The Washington Report On The Hemisphere
Praise for the first edition:
This is the first study to demarcate an important organ of Cuba's socialist government from its Soviet model. The study results in a reassessment of some entrenched presumptions about Cuba-that its government is totalitarian and non-responsive, and that all its allegedly representative bodies are rubber stamps, totally dominated by the Communist Party.
Science and Society
[Poeple's Power] reminds readers of a largely forgotten alternative approach to democracy, a (not fully worked out) approach that was embraced by many socialists for over a century but later was largely forgotten following the rejection of its completely bastardized application in the USSR. In this way this work also constitutes a contribution to the current debate on the nature of democracy under socialism, arguably the central issue in the post USSR debate on the nature of socialism.
Monthly Review
Praise for the first edition:
This is a powerful, well-written, well-argued, and honest book. It makes a really eye-opening classroom text for courses on Cuba or socialism. Peter Roman should be congratulated upon a singular accomplishment.
Political Affairs
This well-researched and -written book . . . will come as a revelation to many readers. People's Power, based on years of field work and first-hand experience of Cuban elections and the workings of representative bodies, demonstrates that there is a functioning popular democratic political culture as the basis of the Cuban government.
The Bulletin Of Latin American Research
Deserves a place on the shelves of all serious students of Cuba and of comparative government.
New Political Science
Praise for the first edition:
This detailed study of the representative institutions of Cuban government provides considerable insight as to the sources of the resilience of Cuban socialism in the face of its well-known economic challenges. . . . Roman makes a strong case that local participation by ordinary citizens is common, lively, and given the lack of resources, reasonably effective. . . . Cuba's system should definitely be pondered by serious students of democracy, and Roman's informative book is a good place to start.
Science & Society
Praise for the first edition:
[Poeple's Power] reminds readers of a largely forgotten alternative approach to democracy, a (not fully worked out) approach that was embraced by many socialists for over a century but later was largely forgotten following the rejection of its completely bastardized application in the USSR. In this way this work also constitutes a contribution to the current debate on the nature of democracy under socialism, arguably the central issue in the post USSR debate on the nature of socialism.
Carlos Sanabria
Peter Roman's book is a valuable study that helps us better understand the workings, successes, and shortcomings of the Cuban government's effort to promote democracy in that country.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Peter Roman is professor of political science at The Graduate Center, The City University of New York.

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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Ch. 1 Early Theories of Socialist Government 9
Ch. 2 Lenin and the Socialist State 31
Ch. 3 The Organs of People's Power: An Overview 61
Ch. 4 Nominations and Elections 103
Ch. 5 Accountability 151
Ch. 6 The People's Councils 211
Conclusion 243
App Workers' Parliaments in Cuba 249
Bibliography 265
Index 283
About the Author 293
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 19, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Fine study of Cuba's democracy

    Peter Roman, professor of political science at The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, has written a fascinating and illuminating study of democracy in Cuba. People's Power was piloted in the province of Matanzas in 1974 and set up nationally in 1976. Cuba holds competitive elections for municipal delegates, with candidates nominated by the people (not by the Communist Party). There are usually 4-7 candidates (never fewer than two). There is no campaigning for or against any candidate; negative campaigning is not allowed. There are no electoral promises or bribes or funding. There are no lobbyists to promote private interests over the general good. The delegates are unpaid, and their work is in addition to their regular work, so Cuba has no caste of professional politicians. The delegates do not represent themselves, or parties; they have to act in the interests of the whole people. Delegates have to live in their electoral districts and have to account to their constituents at all times. The constituents formally instruct the delegates, and have the right of immediate recall. The delegates hold weekly meetings and six-monthly report-back meetings with their constituents, when the electorate holds them to account. Municipal and provincial assemblies must meet at least twice a year. Since 1993, there have been direct elections to the higher parliamentary bodies, the provincial assemblies and the National Assembly. The National Assembly meets twice a year, for two days. It has ten permanent commissions. The US state, Cuban exiles and dissidents always call on the Cuban people to abstain or spoil their ballot papers in national elections. In the 1993 National Assembly elections, just 7.67 per cent abstained or spoilt their ballot papers, in the 1998 elections, 6.65 per cent, in 2003, 6.25 per cent.

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