Professor Scott Morgenstern T/th 11: 00am 12: 15PM

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Latin American Politics

PS 1321

Professor Scott Morgenstern

T/TH 11:00AM 12:15PM

VICTO 00229

Victorian Hall

Classes on Latin American politics generally focus on the lack of democratic rule in the region. Latin America, however, has had a long and interesting--although troubled--experience with democracy. Moreover, almost every country in the region has undergone a recent democratic transition from authoritarian rule. As a result, this class focuses primarily on Latin American democracy--including the initiation of democratic rule, its downfall and its regeneration. In order to understand the development of democracy in Latin America, many factors besides political institutions must be considered. Therefore, this course will also focus on the following themes: economic development, the military, revolution, and US-Latin American relations. While this list does not come close to exhausting the possible contributions to Latin American democratic development, it is meant to offer a foundation for further study of the region.
Requirements and Grading.


a) General participation (includes current events)


b) Research paper


c) Rough draft/review of classmate’s paper


d) Midterm


e) 1 group presentation


f) Pop quizzes


g) Final


Books and other readings:

There are three required books for this class (listed below). Some of them we will discuss directly and others are meant as supplements to the class discussion. We will use a significant part of each class for discussion and therefore it is important to keep up with the reading assignments. In addition to the required texts, a number of articles will be assigned. The NACLA, NY Times, Economist and other articles that are not posted on the website are available on line through PROQUEST or INFO-TRAC (the latter of which has graphics). Note that the syllabus also lists recommended readings for most class sessions. These are intended as extra sources for papers and presentations and are available for the asking.

Skidmore and Smith, Modern Latin America

O’Donnell and Schmitter, Transitions From Authoritarian Rule

Verbitsky, The Flight

Current events: Each student will give 2 current events reports that should last no longer than five minutes a piece. We will have two current events reports per day. Please assure that the two students giving a report on a given day are not reporting on the same event. Quizzes and exams may include information from these reports. The schedule for the reports will be posted, and there will be no make-ups for missed reports.
Presentations: The group presentations will take the full class period (less the current events reports and possible quizzes). The groups (which will have 4-6 people) should meet with me at least two days (and probably more) in advance to plan the class. The presentations can be lecture oriented, but creativity and discussion will earn more points. The groups should prepare an outline to be discussed, PowerPoint overheads if you are giving a lecture, and handouts where appropriate. All of these materials should then be posted on the website as study aids. The classes should revolve around issues in the reading, but they do not have to be limited by those readings. Remember that good presentations will revolve around key questions and social-scientific (i.e. variable driven) explanations.
Paper: There is one paper (5 pages, double spaced) due for this class. You are required to write your paper about the topic on which your group presented, and you should reference the part of the project on which you worked. Please comment on the issue with regard to policy or evaluation—do not simply review the history. These papers (hard copies only) are due, in most cases, the 3rd class after your presentation (see schedule). Note the last group has only 1 week between the presentation and the paper.
Rough Draft review: Each student will be matched with another for the purpose of reviewing your paper. The reviewer should give me and the author at least 1 page of comments (to be handed in with the paper).

W-credits: I will allow five students to earn a W-credit during this term. These students will have to write a more extensive paper (approx 20 pages) that will have to pass through at least one serious revision. If more than 5 students are interested, we will hold a lottery to choose who can participate.
Quizzes: To assure that everyone keeps up with the class work, there will be an undisclosed number of pop quizzes during the term (probably 3-5). These will focus on the readings, the discussion material, and/or the current events reports. There are no make-ups for missed quizzes, but we will drop the lowest grade.
Late policy: I will not accept late papers (so don’t wait to the last minute to write it) and there will only be make-ups for the exams in extraordinary circumstances (and require doctor’s excuses, death certificates, etc). Be forewarned: the make-up exam will be tougher than the original.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Introduction: Why study Latin America? Political Science vs History, &

Democracy in Latin America

Skidmore and Smith Modern Latin America pp.1-12; 42-67

Payne Ch 2 “Gauging Public Support for Democracy”

“The Slow Road to Reform: Latin America” The Economist 12/2/2000, pp. 23-26.

Hartlyn and Valenzuela “Democracy in Latin America Since 1930” in Bethell, Latin America: Politics and Society since 1930. pp.99-108,158-162

Colburn, Latin American at the End of Politics Ch 5: “Fragile Democracies


Lichbach and Zuckerman, Comparative Politics pp. 3-8

Schmitter and Karl “What Democracy Is...And Is Not.” Journal of Democracy Vol. 2 No. 3 Summer 1991 pp.75-87

Democracy in Developing Countries Vol.4 Latin America preface & introduction

Ottaway: Democracy Challenged

Schedler and Diamond The Self-Restraining State

Diamond, Hartlyn, Linz, Lipset (hereafter DHLL) Democracy in Developing Countries: Latin America preface and introduction.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Mexico: Revolution, Corporatism, and Authoritarian Presidentialism

Due: 1-2 page paper on 1 of 3 topics: a) definition of democracy, b) a position paper in favor of democracy, c) a position paper against democratic rule (i.e. assume you are potential dictator…)


Skidmore and Smith Ch. 7

Cornelius and Craig, The Mexican Political System in Transition 55-59

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Mexico: Economic Collapse, the End of Authoritarian Presidentialism, and Current Issues (Group 1)

Rubio “Coping with Political Change” in Kaufman Purcell and Rubio, eds Mexico Under Zedillo, (e-reserves)

Klesner “The End of Mexico’s One-Party Regime” Political Science & Politics, 2001 (ejournals)

The Economist (ejournals) Oct 28, 2000 “Survey Mexico”

If not for NAFTA, when?

PRIde before the fall.

Home and away.

North is north and south is south.

Road sense.

Rich is rich and poor is poor.

NYT 7/9/03 “Why Mexico's Political Machine Keeps Chugging”


Cornelius, Mexican Politics in Transition: 77-88

Cornelius, Craig, and Fox "Mexico's National Solidarity Program: An Overview" pp. 3-26, in Transforming State-Society Relations in Mexico

Levy, Daniel C. “Sustained Civilian Rule Without Democracy” ch.11 (pp.459-498) in (DHLL)

Films “Rojo Amanecer”

Mexico: back-door to the promised land

The ties that bind immigration in the United States : the human faces

Miles from the border.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Colombia: Problematic Democracy

Hartlyn, Jonathan and John Dugas “Colombia: The Politics of Violence and Democratic Transformation” (pp.249-309) Ch.7 in Diamond, Hartlyn, Linz, and Lipset (e-reserves)


Rosenberg, Tina Children of Cain: Violence and the Violent in L.A.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Colombia: The Drug Wars (Group 2)

NACLA July/Ag 2001 Widening Destruction: Drug War in the Americas”

NYT, 6/8/2003 “Latin American Poppy Fields Undermine U_S_ Drug Battle”

NACLA Report Colombia: Old Wars, New Guns Sept/Oct 2000, pp. 23-31

NACLA March/April 2003, “Washington’s New War” and “The Battle for Colombia’s ‘Little Sarajevo’” pp. 13-24

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Argentina: Peronism (Populism?), Development Reversal, and Bureaucratic Authoritarianism
Film (in class): “The Garden of Forking Paths: Dilemmas of National Development”

Skidmore and Smith Cap. 3

Waisman, Carlos H. “Reversal of Development in Argentina”(pp.3-17, 253-264)

Why Argentina Crashed: And is Still Crashing NACLA July/Aug 2002

The Economist Aug 10, 2002 “Argentina’s Bottomless Pit”

The Economist 3/30/02 “The Americas: Waiting for the IMF to Tango”

The Economist 3/2/02 “A Decline without Parallel: Argentina’s collapse”

NYT, 5/18/2003 “Argentina, Turning the Corner, Leans to Its Left”


Waisman, Carlos H. “Argentina: Autarkic Industrialization and Illegitimacy” ch.2 (pp.59- 111) in (DLL).

Wednesday, Jan 25

Possible movie night: Evita

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Argentina II (Group 3)

Levitsky, Steven: “Argentina Weathers the Storm” Journal of Democracy – 14:4, October 2003, pp. 152-166

Marysa Navarro “Evita’s Charismatic Leadership.” ch.3 (pp.47-67) in Conniff,


Green: Silent Revolution

NYT “Argentina's Crisis It's Not Just Money” 1/13/02

NYT “Argentina's Chief Is Sworn In and Comes Out Fighting” 5/25/03

NYT “Argentina Now the Dirtiest of Wars Won't Be Forgotten” 6/18/2003

Tamarin, David “Yrigoyen and Peron: The Limits of Argentine Populism” Ch.2 (pp.31-45) in Conniff, Michael L. ed. Latin American Populism in Comparative Perspective

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bolivia: Troubled Democracy
Reading: Wikipidia:

Make sure to read about the War of the Pacific (1879-84)

Economist 12/17/05 A champion of indigenous rights--and of state control of the economy

NACLA Sep/Oct2005, !Bolivia de pie!

NACLA, Nov 2004

“Bolivia Fights Back”

“The Roots of Rebellion, I. Insurgent Bolivia”

“The Roots of Rebellion, II. Reclaiming the Nation”

“The Consequences of Neoliberal Reform”


NACLA M/A 2005

Bolivia's Separatist Movement

Who Will Bring Water To the Bolivian Poor?

The Indigenous in the Plural in Bolivian Oppositional Politics

Bulletin of Latin American Research 24 (4), 433-453.
Bolivia: A 21st-century revolution.

BOLIVIA: Privatized Water Company Defeated (NACLA Mar/Apr2005,)

On the water war:

“Bolivia-Chile: 1879 War of the Pacific Redux?” By: Taylor, Robert. World Press

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Chile: From Democracy to Socialism, to Dictatorship—and Back


Skidmore and Smith, Cap. 4

Chile: Thirty Years Later NACLA July/August 2003 pp. 8-13, 25-31 (“Introduction,” “From Allende to Lula,” and “Opening Up the Files”)

Films: The Battle of Chile

Death and the Maiden


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Chile II. (Group 4)

NACLA May/June 1999, pp. 11-30 “Twilight of the general,” The arrest and its aftermath,” Pinochet's heirs: The fractured Chilean right, The Pinochet precedent: Changing the equation of repression, Chicago boys come home

Sigmund, Paul E. The Overthrow of Allende and the Politics of Chile 1964-1976 pp.3-13, 275-92

NYT March 28, 2002, “For Chilean Coup, Kissinger is Numbered Among the Hunted”


New Yorker Magazine, Oct 19, 1998 "The Dictator"

Brian Loveman The Legacy of Hispanic Capitalism (especially ch.8 “Chilean Democracy”)

James Petras Politics and Social Forces in Chilean Development

Kornbluh The Pinochet File

Ensalaco, Mark, Chile Under Pinochet

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Brazil: A Bit of Everything: Populism, Military Government, and Democratic Rule from the Left and Right
Skidmore and Smith Ch. 5


Levine, Father of the Poor

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Brazil (Group 5)

Brazil; NACLA M/A 2003

Crisis and change: Colombia and Brazil

Developing Brazil today: An interview with Celso Furtado--'start with the social, not the economic'

Worker president raises workers' hopes in Brazil

Weyland Democracy without Equity

Stepan. Authoritarian Brazil

Skidmore The Politics of Military Rule in Brazil

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Cuba: Socialism, the Cold War, and US Policy in Latin America
Film in class: Castro


Skidmore and Smith, Ch. 8

NYT July 28, 02 “It’s Republican vs. Republican on Cuba” by Christopher Marquis


Perez. Cuba

Perez and Stable. The Cuban Revolution

Papers at the Cuban Transition Project:

Film: Cuba Va: The Challenge of the Next Generation

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Cuba: Socialism and US interventionism (Group 6)

NACLA March/April 1999 Inside Cuba, pp. 17-30, 37-40 (articles by Parker, Monreal, Hammond, and Martín)

Thomas Wright: Latin America in the Era of the Cuban Revolution, pp. 39-72.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Theoretical Explanations of Democratic Breakdown &

Bureaucratic Authoritarianism

Linz and Stepan The Breakdown of Democratic Regimes Ch I (pp. 3-13)

Skidmore and Smith Modern Latin America (Ch. 2)

Collier, David "An Overview of the Bureaucratic-Authoritarian Model” ch.1 (p.19-33) in Collier, David ed. The New Authoritarianism in Latin America


Linz and Stepan The Breakdown of Democratic Regimes Part Chs 2-4 (on e-reserves)

Hirschman, Albert O. “The Turn to Authoritarianism in Latin America and the Search for its Economic Determinants” ch. 3 (pp. 61-98) in Collier ed. The New Authoritarianism in Latin America

J.G. Valdes Pinochet’s Economists

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Comparing Military Regimes: Politics, Economics, and Social Horrors

Movie in class: La Historia Oficial

Snow, Peter G. “Military Government in Argentina” ch.3 (pp.35-51) in Wesson ed. New Military Politics in Latin America

Loveman, Brian The Politics of Anti-Politics 1997 ch. 1,2, (pp.3-15)

Drake, "Debt and Democracy in Latin America, 1920s-1980s" 39-56; in Stallings and Kaufman Debt and Democracy in Latin America

Verbitsky Flight 13-67

Valdes: Pinochet’s Economists

Skidmore, Thomas E. “Politics and Economic Policy Making in Authoritarian Brazil, 1937- 1971” ch. 1 (pp. 3-46) in Alfred Stepan ed. Authoritarian Brazil: Origins, Policies and Future

Remmer, Karen Military Rule in Latin America ch. 1, 2 (pp. 3-43)

Obrien: The Pinochet Decade: The Rise and Fall of the Chicago Boys

Nunca Mas

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Why and when do those with the guns leave power?

O’Donnell and Schmitter Tentative Conclusions About Uncertain Democracies pp.3-72


Aguero and Stark: Fault Lines of Democracy in Post Transition Latin America

Haggard and Kaufman "The Political Economy of Authoritarian Withdrawals” cap.6 (pp. 92-114) in Drake and McCubbins The Origins of Liberty: Political and Economic Liberalization in the Modern World

Loveman, Brian “When You Wish Upon The Stars: Why the Generals (and Admirals) Say Yes to Latin American “Transitions” to Civilian Government” cap.7 (pp. 115-145) in Drake and McCubbins The Origins of Liberty: Political and Economic Liberalization in the Modern World

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Spring Break

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Spring Break

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Dealing with Dictators

Stepan. Rethinking Military Politics pp. 128-145

NACLA SEPT/OCT 1998: Unearthing Memory: The Current Struggle over the Past:

Jelin: “The minefields of memory,”

Hayner: “Truth Commissions: Exhuming the Past”

Mark Ensalaco: Human Rights Quarterly, Nov 1994, v 16 n4 656-75, Truth commissions for Chile and El Salvador: a report and assessment.

Priscilla B. Hayner, "Fifteen Truth Commissions–1974 to 1994: A Comparative Study," Human Rights Quarterly, v. 16, no. 4, November 1994 pp. 598-611, 621-629

Reports on Truth Commissions; read the introductionand review other parts of the Chilean report at:

Hayner, Priscilla Unspeakable Truths

Wesson, Robert ed. New Military Politics in Latin America chapters by Lieuwen (pp.1-17), and Wesson (pp.17-35)

Movies: Missing

Human Rights Quarterly, Nov 1992 v14 n4 p601-622 Report of the Chilean National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation. (book reviews) David Weissbrodt; Paul W. Fraser.

Film: Crimes against humanity: the Search for Justice

The Pinochet Case

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

1990s-present: Economic Crises and the Maintenance of (at least electoral) Democracy

Payne, “Politics Matters for Development” in Democracies in Development Ch. 1

NACLA J/FEB 2003; Privatization And Its Discontents

Edwards: IDB plan to sell the public sector the cure or the ill?

Franko, The Puzzle of Latin American Economic Development Ch. 1

Colburn, Latin America at the End of Politics Ch 5: “Fragile Democracies(review from earlier class)


Franko The Puzzle of Latin American Economic Development Chs. 4

Frieden, Pastor, and Thomz Modern Political Economy and Latin America

Haggard and Kaufman, The Political economy of democratic transitions

Stokes: Neoliberalism by Surprise

O’Donnell “Delegative Democracy”

North, Douglass C., William Summerhill, and Barry Weingast. "Order, Disorder, and Economic Change: Latin America vs. North America." in Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Hilton Root, eds. Governing for Prosperity. New Haven: Yale University Press (2000).

Green, Duncan Silent Revolution

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Corruption, the Economy, and Prospects for Democracy

NYTimes 2/18/02 Argentina Seeks to Cut Patronage From Diet.htm

NYTimes 4/11/02 Argentina's corruption

NYTimes 8/10/03 The Taint of the Greased Palm” (Mexico)

Morgenstern and Manzetti 2003. “Legislative Oversight: Interests and Institutions in the United States and Argentina” in Mainwaring and Welna Democratic Accountability in Latin America

Miguel Schor,  "The Rule of Law and Democratic Consolidation in Latin America." LASA 2003

Payne et al “Democratic Accountability Institutions in Latin America” in Democracies in Development Ch. 9

Weschler, Lawrence “A Miracle A Universe” ch.1 (pp. 7-79) in A Miracle, A Universe: Settling Accounts With Torturers

Timmerman, Jacobo Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number

Film: Inside Pinochet's Prisons

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Rising Left and their Policies: Kirchner, Lagos/Bachelet, Lula, Chavez, Vazquez, Morales (Group 7)

Economist 11/26/05 “Redrawing the political map; Latin America”

Economist 11/12/05 “Chávez squeezes the oil firms; Venezuela”

NACLA M/A 2005 “New Challenges for Radical Social Movements”

Hunter, Wendy: “Lula's Brazil at Midterm”   Journal of Democracy - Volume 16, Number 3, July 2005, pp. 127-139

McCoy, Jennifer: “One Act in an Unfinished Drama” Journal of Democracy - Volume 16, Number 1, January 2005, pp. 109-123

Kornblith, Miriam: “Elections versus Democracy” Journal of Democracy -16: 1, January 2005, pp. 124-137

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The new Left challenge to Latin America & The Right Response
NACLA July/August 2003 Oxhorn.From Allende to Lula: assessing the legacy. (Chile: Thirty Years Later).

Hite. Resurrecting Allende. (Chile: Thirty Years Later).

Bolivia's separatist movement. Teo Ballve.
      NACLA March-April 2005 v38 i5 p16(2)

NACLA M/A 2005

Social Movements: Building From The Ground Up

New Challenges for Radical Social Movements


Gibson “Conservative Party Politics in Latin America: Patterns of Electoral Mobilization in the 1980s & 1990s. in Dominguez & Lowenthal Constructing Democratic Governance 1996.

Lula “Letter to the People of Brazil”

NACLA “The emerging "threat" of radical populism.”. Sept-Oct 2005 v39 i2 p37(5)

NACLA Social movements: building from the ground up. M/A 2005 v38 i5 p13(1)

Angell “Incorporating the Left into Democratic Politics” in Dominguez and Lowenthal Constructing Democratic Governance 1996.

Castañeda Utopia Unarmed: The Latin American Left After the Cold War.. Ch. 8

Middlebrook Conservative parties, the right, and democracy in Latin America

Carr and Ellner, Latin American Left : From the Fall of Allende to Perestroika

Roberts, Kenneth M. 1998. Deepening Democracy? The Modern Left and Social Movements in Chile and Peru. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Loveman, Brian. 1999. For La Patria: Politics and the Armed Forces in Latin America. Scholarly Resources.

Domínguez, Jorge I. And Abraham Lowenthal (eds.) 1996. Constructing Democratic Governance: Latin America and the Caribbean in the 1990s: themes and issues. John Hopkins University Press.

Film: The Revolution will not be Televised

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Towards a Transition in Cuba?

NY Times 7/28/02 “It's Republican vs. Republican on Cuba”

NY Times 5/14/03 Striving to Punish Cuba, U_S_ Expels 14 of Its Diplomats.htm

Washington Post, Oct. 6, 2000 “Deal Reached to allow Food Sales to Cuba”

NY Times 10/19/2000 “Senate Approves Easing Sanctions on Food to Cuba”

Both articles available through course website, under documents

Centeno and Font Toward a New Cuba? Pp. 135-50; 211-19 (includes Eckstein: “The Limits of Socialism in a Capitalist World Economy: Cuba since the Collapse of the Soviet Bloc” ; Moreno Fraginals “Transition to What?” & Centeno and Font “Reflections”

NACLA March/April 1999 Inside Cuba pp. 41-45

Brenner: “Washington loosens the Knot (Just a Little)”

NACLA S/O 2004 W. Smith, “Bush and Cuba: Still the Full Moon”

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Religion, Social Policy, and Politics in Latin America (Group 8)

N.J. Demerath III. “Crossing the Gods: World Religions and Worldly Politics” 2001., pp. 1-9.

Chasteen, Born in Blood and Fire, pp. 270-73

Fleet “Religion in Latin America,” in Hillman Understanding Contemporary Latin America

Camp: “Mexico: Liberation Theology, Base Communities, and Evangelical Protestantism” in Sigmund, ed. Religious Freedom and Evangelization in Latin America

Meyer Sherman and Deeds, 560-568


Htun, Sex and the State

Camp Politics in Mexico 75-78, 84-89 137-42

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Shaping the History of US-LA Relations

Skidmore and Smith Cap. 12

Galeano, Open Veins of Latin America 11-18

Meyer, Sherman, and Deeds, Ch. 20, "The Loss of Texas and the War with the United States" in Course on Mexican History pp, 323-341

Review Declassified documents on Chile, from National Security Archive;

Schoultz, Lars “Two Centuries Later” cap.19 (pp.367-389) in Beneath the United States: A History of U.S. Policy Toward Latin America.

Smith Talons of the Eagle

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Banana Wars, and The US in Central America (Group 9)

Walsh Firewall: The Iran-Contra Conspiracy and Cover Up

Skidmore and Smith Cap. 11

Film: Romero

Film: The Panama Deception

Film: Cover-Up: Behind the Iran-Contra Affair

Film AMERICAS: (Part 9) Fire in the Mind

Arnson, Crossroads: Congress, the President, and Central America, 1976-93

Busby, Reagan and the Iran-Contra Affair The Politics of Presidential Recovery

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Film 1 of: War with Spain, School of the Assassins, or Plan Colombia

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Drugs, Trade, and the Eagle’s Talons

Schoultz: Beneath the United States, Chs. 1,19

NACLA Report: After the Cold War Post Cold War Latin America: in the Eagle’s Shadow Jan/Fed 2002

USAID budget justification: Latin America

NACLA July/Aug 2003 Kornbluh. “Opening up the files Chile declassified (Chile: Thirty Years Later)”

Smith Talons of the Eagle

NACLA Report Nov/Dec 2000 Minding the Backyard: Washington’s LA Policy after the Cold War pp. 6-23, 26-54

NACLA Report: After the Cold War; In the Wake of Terror Nov/Dec 2001

Evans: Dependent Development, 14-54

Free Markets, Open Societies, Closed Border? Trends in International Migration and Immigration Policy in the Americas. Ch. 2 (Castro: “Toward a New Nativism? The Immigration Debate in the United States and Its Implications for Latin American and the Caribbean”)

Films: Inside the School of the Assassins

Latin America: Intervention in our Own Back Yard

Exam:   Thu Apr 27 8:00 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

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