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Javier Corrales (Section 01)
(Offered as POSC 336 and SPAN 336) This is an introduction to the study of modern Latin American politics. The overriding question is: why have democracy and self-sustained prosperity been so difficult to accomplish in the region We begin by examining different definitions of democracy. Thereafter, we discuss three democracy-related themes in Latin America.
First, we focus on explaining similarities, specifically, common historical and institutional legacies that might have hindered democratic and economic development in the region. The second part of the course focuses on explaining differences. Despite similar historical legacies, the countries of the region developed different political systems after World War II. Some countries became democratic while others did not. We examine hypotheses to explain these differences. The third part of the course examines major democratic and undemocratic trends since the 2000s: current problems of democracy, the return of statism and populism, the difficulty of creating accountability, abuses by majorities and abuses by minorities, re-electionism, extractivism, the rise of religious conservatism and LGBT rights, diasporas, drugs and crime.
Language of instruction: Classes will be conducted in English. Students wishing this course to count for their Spanish major will work mostly with materials in Spanish and write all their assignments in Spanish.
Requisite: For Political Science majors, no pre-requisites. For Spanish majors, Spanish proficiency at advanced low (as per ACTFL standards) is required. Limited to 30 students. Spring semester. Professor Corrales.
If Overenrolled: Priority first given to fourth-year Political Science majors, then to a balance of first-years, sophomores, and juniors, randomly determined, followed by 5-college students.