Spring 2014

Markets and Democracy in Latin America

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-489

Formerly listed as: POSC-69  |  POSC-89


Javier Corrales (Section 01)


[CP, IR] [IL - starting with the Class of 2015]  In the 1980s an unprecedented process of change began in Latin America: nations turned toward democracy and the market. This seminar explores the literature on regime and economic change and, at the same time, encourages students to think about ways to study the post-reform period. The seminar begins by looking at the situation prior to the transition: the sources of Latin America’s over-expanded state, economic decay, political instability, and democratic deficit. The seminar then focuses directly on the processes of transition, paying particular attention to the challenges encountered. It explores, theoretically and empirically, the extent to which democracy and markets are compatible. The seminar then places Latin America’s process of change in a global context: comparisons will be drawn with Asian and post-Socialist European cases. The seminar concludes with an overview of current shortcomings of the transition: Latin America’s remaining international vulnerability (the Tequila Crisis of 1995 and the Asian Flu of 1997), lingering social issues, the rise of crime, drug trade, and neopopulism, the cleavage between nationalists and internationalists, the prospects for further deepening of reforms and the political backlash against reforms in the 2000s. For their final projects, students will have two options:  1) participate in a community-service internship in Argentina, Chile or Uruguay during the summer through a college-approved program, followed by completion of a policy-oriented paper based on the internship experience; or 2) write a 20-page research project on a topic relevant topic.  Option 1 will require approval from the instructor and is contingent on funding availability.  This course fulfills the requirements of an advanced seminar in Political Science.

Requisite: Some background in the economics and politics of developing areas. Limited to 20 students. Not open to first-year students. Spring semester. Professor Corrales.

If Overenrolled: Priority will be given to Juniors, and then Sophomores. Seniors will be admitted to the course only if they need an advanced seminar in Political Science to graduate, or if they have sufficient background on political economy.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Spring 2014