The preceding chapters suggest that the interaction of state legal power with
local community solidarity and foreign capital sometimes reflects a zero-
sum process of competition and domination, and other times a positive-sum
process of collaboration and interdependence. Community associations that
become legally registered often have to subordinate local commitments to
centralized economic priorities and national development goals, but the
o≈cial legitimacy and support they gain can serve as a platform for expand-
ing their activities over time. Similarly, decentralized engagement with com-
munity groups requires the underresourced state to cede ideological and
administrative ground at the grassroots, but this ultimately consolidates its
broader political authority and administrative capacities. Initially secure in
their aims, foreign development agencies are usually forced to reshape their
objectives and loyalties around this complicated political terrain, but by
doing so they earn the trust necessary for introducing new ideas and de-
velopment models in a respectful and collaborative way.
From a zero-sum perspective government intervention tends to stifle in-
dependent local initiative, while the retrenchment of the state from the civil
sphere can give rise to new forms of local voluntarism and social support
(Fukuyama 1995, Schambra 1994). Conversely, from a positive-sum position
a robust state can actively nurture a stable and progressive environment in
which it is possible for a vibrant and independent civil society to emerge and
flourish (Salamon 1995, Skocpol 1995). These analytic models have devel-
oped in contexts where the independent, nonstate character of civil society is
either well established, as in the United States and Western Europe, or
quickly expanding, as in Eastern Europe in the early 1990s. By contrast,
political reality in Cuba does not reflect a dualistic social structure character-
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