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OCLA 2060 - Latin America in its Historical and International Context

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

The seminar attempts a conceptual survey of hemispheric relations. After an introduction to the comparative historical legacies of Spain and England in the Americas, there will be a brief review of the resulting cultural differences, stereotypes, recurrent myths and disparate viewpoints on the nature of inter American links. The focus will then turn to the major crises of the cold War (1945-1989) that still influence and may distort current attitudes. This will be followed by analyses of the more significant developments and problems of the post-Cold War period. The emphasis will be on the treatment of US-Latin American relations especially by the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations of democracy, security and economic policies. The discussions will try to identify subtle variations in the asymmetry of power which has traditionally favored the United States vis-a-vis Latin America, as these changes emerge within the present crisis of globalization and the significant shifts in the international system. International relations will be studied in the context of Latin America's endogenous evolution and tentative reactions as it begins its transition to greater international autonomy. The course will cover persistent and new challenges in the crisis of Andean governance, Brazil and Mexico as emerging powers, the decline of Argentina, new forms of criminal violence, narcotics, ethnic politics, migration and institutional fragility in the light of newer and more intense socio-economic problems. At the end of the seminar, students will be expected to submit a research essay on a major issue in Latin American international relations. Students are also required to write a shorter mid-term paper on one of the topics suggested for discussion in the seminar. As an element of class participation, each student should present a two-page policy recommendation or short book review.


  • LUNA, Ricardo (Professeur)
  • ORLANDO, Leonardo G. (Doctorant)

Course validation

25% class participation, 35% short paper, 40% final paper.


Thirty to sixty pages per week.

Required reading

Peter. H Smith, "Talons of the Eagle", Oxford U.P., 2008