Political Science

Second Major



Dr. Richard McIntyre

Advisor Department





Normalization; Cuba; Cuban Relations


We analyze normalization of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba. We first examine the causes of previous normalizations with Vietnam and China. From these cases, we identify factors that are key to the normalization process. These include political turnover, economic interests, other special interest groups, public sentiment, and what we refer to as the Lawnmower Effect. This effect is observed when one or both nations attempt to reopen diplomatic ties only to continually fail to establish relations due to the endurance of underlying political issues. We use the Multiple Streams Framework (a policy formulation theory) in order to evaluate this normalization process. In this framework, moments known as "policy windows" (opportunities in which the “streams” of politics, problems, and policies come together) focus attention and resources on an issue. In the case of US-Cuban relations, the three streams have come together to create a policy window, due partially to international pressure. We conclude with an evaluation of the current state and progress of the US-Cuban normalization process.