By Laurence Whitehead, Bert Hoffmann
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Additional resources for Debating Cuban Exceptionalism (Studies of the Americas)
Commitment to this postulated endgame. 9. A cost-benefit analysis of this type cannot accommodate the actions of a suicide bomber or make sense of a phrase such as iPatria 0 Muerte, Venceremos! ) Despite the evident political potency of such a political style, under conventional realism it becomes irrational, perhaps even inexplicable. 10. For the purposes of this chapter constructiv1sm is a broad perspective rather than a precise technique. It is a style of political explanation that regards rhetoric and discourse as potentially motivating and constraining and that views extended sequences of interactions among political actors (who either may be collective or individual depending upon the political process in question) as driven partly by emotion and psychology, not purely by rational calculation of interest.
From a constructivist perspective these "soft" or presentational aspects of the sanctions issue could weigh more heavily with Cuban policy makers than the hard material consequences of the punishment. Put in more realist language, a certain type of political strategy-characteristic of actors in a position of material weakness but organizational autonomy-may be to convert objective loss and material sacrifice into political advantage. But once conventional realism is relaxed to allow costs and benefits to be redefined according to incommensurable and subjective criteria it loses the parsimony that provides its major theoretical justification.
10 LAURENCE WHITEHEAD would not expect a second adventure to be attempted, and if it were they would not expect it to attract much support. Realism is not a promising framework for the prediction of social revolution in general, and it cannot obviously be applied to explaining the Cuban upheaval of 1959. S. defense perimeter. Realists would not predict a long chain of apparently unrealistic revolutionary policies, each followed by further acts of even greater voluntarism in defiance of what they must regard as the objective logic of the situation.
Debating Cuban Exceptionalism (Studies of the Americas) by Laurence Whitehead, Bert Hoffmann