International relations

The Political Economy of Latin American Development

Module code: L2070A
Level 6
30 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Essay, Coursework

This module provides a long-term historical account and analysis of Latin America's formation and integration into the modern world system.  You will investigate patterns of growth and distribution of wealth over different periods of time and between countries.  In particular, the module investigates how these patterns have influenced and have been shaped by three interrelated factors - domestic social structures, state formation and integration to the evolving world system. 

Key issues covered include: the Iberian political economic lethargy; attempts at constructing cohesive state structures and state-led economic development; the influence of rural and urban social movements on the politico-economic structures of different countries; responses to globalisation, including the attempt at creating blocs across the region; and a discussion of the extent to which the current 'pink tide' (or red wave) constitutes a realistic alternative political-economic trajectory for the mass of the continent's population. 

Module learning outcomes

  • Develop a systematic and critical understanding of key concepts in Latin American Development
  • Develop a detailed conceptual understanding of the history of Latin American Development.
  • Effectively synthesise and communicate the empirical and theoretical uncertainties, ambiguities and limits of the political economy of Latin America.