Emory International Law Review


This Article considers democratic self-constitution in illiberal states, focusing on the 2019 revision of the Cuban constitution. An important element of that change occurred around the formal and informal constitutional reform debates. This Article attempts to better understand the form, practice, character and influence of these new modalities of popular participation through a close empirical study. The Article first provides a brief conceptual and historical context. It then introduces the empirical study and its methodology. This Article uses data from government web sites, official reports, and social media sites to examine popular participation, its constitution, and its limitations. The Article develops four distinct data sets around which the analysis of popular participation is undertaken. Part IV then considers consequences and applications both within Cuba and beyond as they may point to the further development of the Cuban form of Marxist-Leninist political theory around structures of democratic mechanisms.