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
e) 1 group presentation
f) Pop quizzes
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, &
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 Research24 (4), 433-453.
Bolivia: A 21st-century revolution.
BOLIVIA: Privatized Water Company Defeated (NACLA Mar/Apr2005,)
On the water war: http://www.democracyctr.org/bechtel/the_water_war.htm
“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) Required:
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
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 Required:
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
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Why and when do those with the guns leave power? Required:
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
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Dealing with Dictators Required:
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:
Wesson, Robert ed. New Military Politics in Latin America chapters by Lieuwen (pp.1-17), and Wesson (pp.17-35)
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 Reqired:
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 Required:
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 Recommended:
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) Required:
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).
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) Required:
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 Required:
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;
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 Required:
Schoultz: Beneath the United States, Chs. 1,19
NACLA Report: After the Cold WarPost Cold War Latin America: in the Eagle’s Shadow Jan/Fed 2002
USAID budget justification: Latin America http://www.usaid.gov/country/lac/
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”)