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Studiegids

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Politics: Latin America

Vak
2020-2021

Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies programme.
Limited places are also open for exchange students.
Please note: this course takes place in The Hague. Traveling between University buildings from Leiden to The Hague may take about 45 minutes.

Description

This course provides a general introduction to Latin American politics, emphasizing the specific ways in which the political process has evolved in each of the countries in this region. So despite the many communalities one can observe in this region with respect to institutional systems and political practices, each country presents a particular type of political evolution. All sorts of historical, social, political, economic, cultural and ethnic factors have played an important role in shaping the political reality of the individual countries. This course follows a country-centred approach providing an explorative journey through the Latin American nations, from North to South.
This course aims to allow students to comprehend the main dynamics characterizing the Latin American political process since the late 19th century until today. Students will learn to distinct the specific political features of each Latin American country. Finally, students will also learn why political phenomena affecting the entire region have dissimilar impacts and consequences in the different Latin American countries.

Lectures overview:

  1. Short introduction and Mexican politics
  2. The Spanish Speaking Caribbean: Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico
  3. Central America I: Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras
  4. Central America II: Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama
  5. South America I: Venezuela
  6. South America II: Colombia
  7. South America III: Ecuador, Peru
  8. South America IV: Bolivia
  9. South America V: Brazil
  10. South America VI: Uruguay and Paraguay
  11. South America VII: Argentina
  12. South America VIII: Chile

Course objectives

  • Students get an overview of the historical and contemporary political developments / dynamics in their chosen area and deepen their existing knowledge and understanding of different political systems, political institutions, political processes and actors in the different regions / countries of the region, using the concepts acquired during the course Politics.

  • Students get acquainted with academic debates on selected topics in the specific region.

  • Students learn how to write a literature review (2,500 words).

  • Students critically engage with advanced academic texts (summarise, analyse, and critically reflect on the validity of the arguments made in these texts).

  • Students apply theories, concepts and research techniques relevant to the field of comparative politics.

Timetable

The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction

Lectures

Lectures are held every week, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Weekly lectures will cover issues both inside and outside the readings.

Tutorials

Tutorials are held once every three weeks, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Attending all tutorial sessions is compulsory. With online education, it is more important than ever to maintain communication and stay in touch with your study groups. For this reason, if you are unable to attend a session, it is required that you inform your tutor in advance. Please note that being absent at any tutorial session may have a negative impact on the grade of the assignment due for that particular tutorial session. This is at the discretion of the tutor.

Assessment method

Assessment

  • Midterm Exam:

Written examination with short open questions and (up to) 50% multiple choice questions.

  • Final Exam:

    Written examination with short open questions and (up to) 50% multiple choice questions.

Weighing

Partial grade Weighing
Tutorials 30%
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 40%

End Grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:

  • The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of Tutorial grade, Midterm Exam grade, and Final Exam grade.

  • The weighted average of the Midterm Exam grade and the Final Exam grade needs to be 5.5 or higher.

  • This means that failing Exam grades cannot be compensated with a high Tutorial grade.

Resit

If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6.0), or the weighted average of Midterm- and Final Exams is lower than 5.5, there is a possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier Midterm- and Final Exam grades. No resit for the tutorial is possible.
Please note that if the Resit Exam grade is lower than 5.5, you will not pass the course, regardless of the tutorial grade.

Retaking a passing grade

Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2020 – 2021.

Exam review and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organised.

Reading list

  • Howard J. Wiarda, Christine J. Wade, en Harvey F. Kline (eds), Latin American Politics and Development. Boulder: Westview Press, 2017 (9th edition).

    ISBN: 978-0-8133-5050-9.

Registration

  • Enrolment through uSis for Tutorials and Lectures is mandatory.

  • Students will be enrolled for Exams by the Administration Office, as long as they have a valid Tutorial enrolment.

  • General information about uSis is available on the website.

Contact

Prof.dr. P. Silva

Dr. R.C. Sheppard

When contacting lecturers or tutors, please include your full name, student number, and tutorial group number.
Please use your University email-address (uMail) when communicating with any person or department within Leiden University.

Student Affairs Office for BA International Studies

Remarks

None.