On Hurricanes: My Favorite Metaphor

by | Dec 30, 2007

The hurricane is my favorite metaphor for the study of both Cuba and political science. Living through hurricanes as a little boy predisposed me to study both. Hurricanes combine certainty and uncertainty, which are key concerns in the study of politics anywhere and of Cuba in particular. Hurricanes are metaphors for revolutions, election campaigns, and nearly every topic that I have studied. Hurricanes have a well-identified structure, origin, and location. They have a predictable trajectory during a specified period of time. They recur. And yet, some of their most important features are known to be unknown: We do not know when and where they will hit, and their force is quite variable even during short periods of time.

Winter 2007Volume VI, Number 2

Jorge I. Dominguez is the Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs.

Related Articles

After the Earthquake: Juan’s Life

After the Earthquake: Juan’s Life

Juan was a construction helper. He lived in Armenia, but his parents were from the Antioquia region, who had fled because of the violence there. The mother of his children was called…

Political Memory

Political Memory

Late in 1717 Dr. Joseph Surin, precentor of the Cathedral of Old Guatemala, carried out some calculations: had the mudslide that wiped the city on the 28th of August, feast day of Saint…

Environmental Stress and Rainmaking

Environmental Stress and Rainmaking

When Europeans first attempted to settle in North America north of the Rio Grande, their confrontations with Indian cultures were marked by cosmic struggles over environmental…

Print Friendly, PDF & Email