Comparative Politics of Latin America

The course introduces students to the politics of Latin America.

After a brief historical analysis, the focus will be on the regional post-Cold War democratic experiences and the challenges to its consolidation in the last decade.

Moreover, the course will cover topics such as the rise of Brazil and Mexico as emerging powers, the decline of Argentina, the reestablishment of US-Cuba relations and the institutional fragility in the light of renewed socioeconomic problems.

Students will be able to answer the following questions:

  • Are there similarities between Latin American regimes?
  • Are there deep differences between them?
  • Are there any regional patterns that we can identify?

Course Objectives

At the end of the course, students should:

  • understand Latin American politics and its main features
  • be able to identify different political systems
  • be able to distinguish different political actors and national interests
  • be able to critically assess the importance of regime changes in Latin America and their
  • consequences for the international system.

Course Content

  1. Political history of Latin America since the independence to the end of the Cold War
  2. Democratization and political systems
  3. Ethnic relations and ethnic politics
  4. Emerging regional powers: from Brazil to Mexico
  5. The New Left: from Chávez to Morales
  6. Regionalism in Latin America
  7. Latin America and the international system
  8. What perspectives for Latin America?