PSC 252 -- LATIN AMERICAN POLITICS
Professor Rose Spalding
1657 Lewis Center
LPC Office: 990 West Fullerton
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."
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
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
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.
varieties of party systems, electoral processes, human rights protections, constitutional
provisions, and development policies, we assess the impact of different institutional
Throughout the course, we analyze the political challenges posed by
social inequality and poverty.
Charles H. Blake, Politics in Latin America
ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin,
Nikolas Kozloff, Revolution! South America and the Rise of the New Le
York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008);
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.