The impact of the Miami Cuban exile's political culture on the 1996 fiscal crisis of the City of Miami

Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Administration

First Advisor's Name

Donald. E. Klingner

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Anthony P. Maingot

Third Advisor's Name

Jean-Claude Garcia-Zamor

Date of Defense



The purpose of this study was to determine if the political culture of the Miami Cuban exile community was a significant factor in creating the environment that led to the 1996 fiscal crisis of the City of Miami. The study performed an ethnographic case study that utilized a triangulation strategy which included both qualitative and quantitative methods. Focus groups were conducted to ascertain qualitative and quantitative data as to differences among ethnic and generational groups regarding notions of governance, public administration practices, and overall political values and core beliefs. Quantitative data was obtained through a five year and seven month review of newspaper articles from two periodicals based in Miami-Dade County. A review was also conducted of secondary data in audit and management reports, blue ribbon commission studies, Certified Public Manager (CPM) enrollment, and legal case decisions to examine the administrative practices of the City of Miami leading up to and subsequent to its fiscal crisis. The study found that a political subculture of caudillismo was present in Cuban exile core areas of Miami that appears to have had an influence on the administrative practices and notions of governance that led to the fiscal crisis. The author concludes that an imported foreign political culture has imposed itself as a subculture in core areas of the exile community and that the operationalization of this subculture has manifested itself in non-mainstream notions of governance and public administration practices.



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