The inability–sometimes deemed the failure–of Latin American countries to establish stable and democratic governments has frustrated observers across the region and beyond for almost 200 years. This course will examine the historical creation of both democratic and anti-democratic regimes in different national cases, seeking to identify the conditions that have fostered the apparent persistence of dictatorial tendencies as well as diverse forms of pro-democratic activism. Our main cases will be Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, and the countries of Central America, but we will address the region as a whole. In this regard we will look at the social and economic forces as well as the political actors and ideologies that have contributed to distinct, if often parallel, outcomes. At the same time, we will also question the criteria we use to label regimes “democratic” or “dictatorial”–and the implications of our choice of criteria.
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
class participation, response papers, two short papers, and a longer (10-12-page) final essay
Difference, Power, and Equity
This course examines the production of unequal power relations along racial/ethnic, gender, national, and regional lines. Furthermore, it analyzes the creation of diverse--and biased--categories by which Latin Americans and their political movements and systems have been evaluated since the nineteenth century.
GBST Latin American Studies Electives
HIST Group D Electives - Latin America + Caribbean
LATS Countries of Origin + Transnationalism Elect