Skip to main content

Module

POL3126 : Latin American Politics

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Lorenza Fontana
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

The aims of the module are to:

•       Offer an historical introduction to Latin American contemporary politics
•       Enable students to understand and critically assess key contemporary political events in Latin American
•       Situate key events and historical trajectories within theoretical frameworks from and on Latin America
•       Provide an applied understanding of broader political processes including democratization, authoritarianism, social mobilization, insurgency, ethnic and class politics.

Outline Of Syllabus

In any given year, topics could include:

-       Colonialism, neocolonialism and the Republican era
-       Peasant revolutions and the agrarian question (e.g. Mexican Revolution)
-       Guerrilla wars (e.g. FARC, Sendero Luminoso)
-       Civil wars (e.g. Guatemala)
-       Populism and political incorporation (e.g. from Peronismo to Kishnerismo)
-       Military regimes (e.g. Pinochet)
-       Transitions to democracy
-       New democracies and economic liberalisation
-       Ethnic politics and indigenous rights
- Environmental politics (eg. Amazon wildfire crisis)
-       The ‘Pink Tide’
-       Popular mobilizations (e.g. youth and social media)
-       Corruption in politics (e.g. Peru Odebrecht scandal)
-       The return of the Rights (new coups and counter-revolutions, e.g. Bolivia)
-       Latin America in a globalised world

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00PiP Lectures
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials111:0011:00Pre-recorded lecture materials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00PiP Seminars
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities111:0011:00Annotated/guided reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery14:004:00Online Student Consultation & Feedback
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1152:00152:00Assessment preparation and completion
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

•       Lectures (PiP and recorded) introduce, explain and illustrate key processes in contemporary Latin American politics alongside concepts and theories that scholars have used to make sense of them;
•       Seminars provide an opportunity for students to develop their analytical and oral skills by discussing specific examples, country case studies, landmark articles on theoretical debates; they will give the chance for student to exercise their critical thinking skills through presentations, collective discussions and mutual feedback;
•       In between sessions, students are required to conduct some independent work through required and optional readings and research activities;
•       Drop-in sessions will be available for students to receive personalized or smaller group feedback and support in the preparation of their essays and presentations.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M502000 word essay
Design/Creative proj2M5015/20 minutes recording 'impossible interview'
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The aim of the essay is to assess students’ ability to develop a clear and coherent argument around a topic chosen among a range of options or an independently proposed topic within the scope of the module. It will assess their ability to select and use reliable sources, plan and execute independent research, critically engage with the literature as well as with key events and processes in contemporary Latin American politics. It will also allow students to demonstrate their critical thinking and original contribution in the discussion of these topics.

The creative project will give students the change to demonstrate their ability to connect theatrical concepts and historical processes with 'real -life' protagonists and their bibliographies. It will strengthen their collaborative and oral presentation skills and the capacity to communicate complex problems to their peers.
The creative project will consist in an ‘impossible interview’ exercise: student will work in pair to create and record (either as a podcast or video recording) an interview with a relevant character from Latin American politics and recent history, based on reading and guided/autonomous research.

Reading Lists

Timetable