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Volume 65 / Social Sciences


FRANK O. MORA, Professor of National Security Strategy, National War College
JACQUELINE ANNE BRAVEBOY-WAGNER, Professor of Political Science, The City College and The Graduate School, and University Center, The City University of New York (CUNY)

ALTHOUGH CUBA CONTINUES TO DOMINATE the literature on Hispanic Caribbean international relations, this biennium, unlike previous ones, offers a more diverse set of studies focusing on the impact of globalization on the Dominican Republic and Haiti (items #bi2008003958# and #bi2008003963#, among others) and regional integration (items #bi2006001012#, #bi2008003960#, #bi2008001191#, and #bi2008003953#). More importantly, the theoretical and methodological approaches offered in the literature are much broader and more sophisticated (items #bi2007003095#, #bi2008003960#, and #bi2008002077#) than in previous years. Though one still notices the rather strong ideological undercurrents in most studies on Cuba and by Cubans on and off the island, these works remain good sources of data and analysis.

Some new research in the area of Cuban studies appears this biennium, such as a study of US-Cuban military relations prior to the Revolution (item #bi2008003955#), and another book-length study that examines current US-Cuban cooperation in the areas of drug trafficking and migration (item #bi2007003658#). At a time when the literature on US-Cuban relations is so ideologically charged, these studies offer more interesting and somewhat more delicate approaches. Of course, ideology—mostly an anti-imperialist/dependency approach delivered with either a heavy or light hand—continues to dominate the literature (items #bi2005004509#, #bi2008003956#, #bi2008003960#, #bi2008003959#, among others). Many of the works reviewed are historical and descriptive, although Cruz Herrera provides an interesting and systematic analysis of US-Cuban relations during the 1990s (item #bi2008003956#). This year, however, there are fewer works on Cuban foreign policy; the exceptions include a review of Cuba's policy toward Angola (item #bi2007000099#), a study of Cuban-Mexican economic relations (item #bi2008003961#), and a more nuanced article on Cuba's relations with Latin America (item #bi2007000289#) that addresses the important inroads made in the region by the Castro government.

As in previous volumes of HLAS, the literature on the Dominican Republic and Haiti is lacking. There are the usual surveys on Dominican-Haitian relations (item #bi2008003958#) and Dominican-US relations (item #bi2008003962#), but overall the quantity and quality of the work on non-Cuba international relations in the Caribbean remains deficient and void of theoretical rigor. [FOM]


Few works on the English-speaking Caribbean seem to be addressing the many facets of international relations per se—topics ranging from new security threats such as cyber and environmental threats to human rights, international institutions, or foreign policy. Instead the literature of the first decade of the 2000s concentrates on international political economy, primarily assessing the choices facing the region in an era of neoliberal globalization. This focus also means that there is a lack of theoretical development: the new thrust in international relations to constructivist theorizing seems not to have taken hold in the region. Nevertheless, among the small number of works reviewed, two stand out, both in historical vein: one study offers fresh insights into immigration flows and policies (item #bi2009000249#), and the other into the West Indian events leading up to 1962 (item #bi2009000246#). [JBW]

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