Politics and Protest: The Latin American State and Social Movements

Course lecturer: Prof. Dr. Barbara Hogenboom
Periode: 5 September - 26 October
Schedule: Wednesday at 13.00 - 15.00 and Friday at 11.00 - 13.00
Course load: 6 EC
Maximum number of participants: 40
Course ID: 137221016Y

Latin American politics is a puzzling field of academic study. On the one hand, political discourses and antagonisms are usually very outspoken, be it from activists or from presidents. Similarly, shifts of regimes and policies seem to have been more extreme than in other parts of the world, as in the case of both neoliberalism and 'socialism of the 21st century'. On the other hand, political institutions and practices are also heavily influenced by undercurrents that are less visible yet powerful, such as corruption, a lack of trust and loyalty, and weak citizenship and rule of law.

The course deals with the causes, consequences and limitations of political turmoil and change in Latin America, with an emphasis on democratization, development policy and mobilization around 'old' and 'new' social and political issues, such as participation, human rights and justice. In order to understand recent events, we also need to look at dynamics of the past that continue to influence politics and protest: dictatorships and democracies, political legacies (authoritarianism, elitism, populism), social inequality, politicized state institutions and economic dependence on foreign capital.

Some basic knowledge and background on Latin America from a humanities and / or social science perspective is helpful. In case this is missing it is advisable to read a few chapters of in introductory book on Latin America or the Routledge Handbook of Latin American Politics. During the course students are also instructed to follow the news on Latin America.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:
- know the main phases of political and social change in Latin America since the early 20th Century, and the most prominent cases and actors of each phase;
- know the major debates on state-society relations, democracy and patterns of social mobilization in the region;
- have a basic understanding of the interactions between politics at the local, national, regional and global scale;
- be able to reflect on the ways in which different disciplines contribute to our understanding of social and political conflict in the region, including the challenges posed by inequality, weak institutions and economic dependency;
- be able to formulate questions and ideas on current Latin American politics and protest.

Hellinger, Daniel C., Comparative Politics of Latin America. Democracy at Last? Second edition. Routledge, 2015. The book will be supplemented with some additional readings, which will be announced before the start of the course.

Form of instruction and assessment
Presentation of a chapter: not graded
Literature assignment consisting of a written comparison of two recent academic articles: 25% of final grade
The final open-book exam: 75% of grade, on 26 October, 11:00-13:00
Resit: on 30 November, 11:00-13:00

During the course, different countries, topics and scholarly approaches are discussed. The course consists of a range of activities through seven thematic sessions with lectures and additional activities such as viewing documentaries and doing (online) interviews, and seven sessions in which the literature is discussed, including presentations by students

For the examination dates please consult the timetable on https://rooster.uva.nl/
Click here for the course description in the UvA Studiegids.

Registration and Participation

UvA Students

Students registered at the University of Amsterdam can register for the CEDLA courses through SIS.

Students registered at other Dutch universities
BA students that are registered at another Dutch university can register as a guest student Spanish Language and Culture (‘bijvakstudent Spaanse Taal en Cultuur’) at the University of Amsterdam in Studielink.

MA students that are registered at another Dutch university can register through our digital registration form.

Persons who are interested in our courses, but are not registered as students at a university, may participate in some courses under certain provisions. Those interested, should provide the secretariat with some information on their background, their background knowledge and their special interest in taking the course. Non-students can register for the courses through our digital registration form

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the CEDLA secretariat. We are open on weekdays from 9.00 to 17.00 hours.

Telephone: +31 20 525 3498
Email: secretariat@cedla.nl

Pictures: Eduardo Fonseca Arraes (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) & Pablo Andrés Rivero (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)