Carnegie Mellon University

Latin American Politics

Course Number: 84-306

The world's most unequal region is an area of contrasts. Ethnically diverse, stable and tumultuous, young and old, urban and rural, learned and illiterate, prosperous and poor, independent yet dependent. The disparities that have characterized the region since colonial times have been a permanent source of instability and the cause of numerous political and economic experiments. Social scientists have found much material to study democratic innovations, revolutions, coups, civil wars, military dictatorships, impeachments, populism, clientelism, corruption, import substitution industrialization, neoliberalism, socialism, regime changes, social movements, welfare policies, regional integration, and diversified leadership. The overarching question to be explored in this course is what forces -- such as economic, social, and cultural -- affect the emergence, development, collapse, reemergence, and consolidation of democracy. To understand the region's present, it is necessary to study path dependence and learn how the worldviews of dominant elites evolved over time. Thus, the course centers in three historical periods. First, we will briefly examine Latin American history from its conquest to the end of World War II (1492-1945). The aim is to uncover the demographic and geographical setting with its economic, social, and political evolution. The second part centers on most of the Cold War period (1947-1978) and its combination of political and economic experiments. The third part covers the last forty years, from the wave of transitions to democracy to current challenges to democratic consolidation. We will also address how Latin America has integrated to globalization and how the relationship with the US and China has experienced fundamental changes since the 1990s.

Academic Year: 2023-2024
Semester(s): Spring
Units: 9
Location(s): Pittsburgh

Spring 2024
Monday and Wednesday
9:30-10:50 AM

Elective course for the following CMIST degrees:
BS International Relations and Political Science
Additional Major in International Relations and Political Science
BS Economics and Politics
Additional Major in Economics and Politics
Minor in International Relations and Political Science