252Spal08s - 1 PSC 252 LATIN AMERICAN POLITICS Professor...

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1 PSC 252 -- LATIN AMERICAN POLITICS Spring 2008 Professor Rose Spalding LC Office: 1657 Lewis Center Phone: 312-362-5478 LPC Office: 990 West Fullerton Room 2102 Phone: 773-325-1983 Email: [email protected] In spite of the proximity of Latin America to the United States, most U.S. citizens have little understanding of political life in the region. We tend to rely on alarmist reports of revolutionary turmoil and misperceptions about "underdevelopment." This course attempts to move beyond superficial headline analysis to explore systematic political trends in the region, especially those emerging in the last 20 years. You will have the opportunity to enter into analytical debates about the nature of democracy and its expression in Latin America. Recognizing that Latin American countries differ among themselves, this course gives attention to important political variations within the region. The first three weeks of this course focus on the institutions, political parties, social forces, and domestic and international actors that have shaped governments and politics in Latin America. The middle part of the course focuses on political transitions and institutional developments in four case studies. Our central inquiry concerns the character and contradictions in the democratization processes emerging in the region. We launch this assessment by exploring recent developments in Mexico, Cuba, Brazil and Venezuela. The final section of the course analyzes the recent rise of the new left(s) in Latin America and the implications for relations within Latin America and beyond. By examining the interplay between political and economic processes, we analyze conflicting ideas about the extent to which economic globalization supports or undermines the process of democratic deepening in Latin America. By exploring varieties of party systems, electoral processes, human rights protections, constitutional provisions, and development policies, we assess the impact of different institutional arrangements. Throughout the course, we analyze the political challenges posed by social inequality and poverty. READINGS: 1. Charles H. Blake, Politics in Latin America , 2 nd ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008); 2. Nikolas Kozloff, Revolution! South America and the Rise of the New Le ft (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008); 3. Readings linked to the blackboard site for this course. These additional readings provide both interpretations of concepts and an introduction to important sources (journals, reports, websites, etc.) that will be of use in your research.
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2 GRADING In-class mid-term exam 25% Debate brief (2 pages), plus a bibliography 5% Debate presentation 5% Case assessment (5-7 pages) 30% Final take-home exam (5-7 pages) 25% Daily class participation 10 % In-Class Mid-Term Exam The in-class exam will focus on key concepts and major theoretical debates introduced in the first three weeks of the quarter. You will be asked to provide (1) short definitions of a set of foundational concepts we’ll be using during the rest of the quarter;
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252Spal08s - 1 PSC 252 LATIN AMERICAN POLITICS Professor...

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