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Nation building in Latin America


Admission requirements

Be registered as student of Bachelor degree at Leiden or another Dutch University.


This course analyses the nation building in Latin America since the colonial period: the ties with Spain and Portugal during the colonial period and the different stages of nation building that the region has known since the independence. Thus, the colonial State, the independence processes, the first phase of the State-nation building, of instability to consolidation and then the collapse of the oligarchic model are analysed. From 1930 there are two main forms of political system in the region: the corporate State and the neo-liberal State (both with democratic and authoritarian regimes). Attention is given to the interactions between economic, political, social and cultural factors, in the different stages of nation building and their discourses. The course also addresses the academic analysis and bibliographic research on the Latin American reality.
The transferable skills in this courses are: analytical thinking (analytical skills, abstraction, evidence); oral communication (presentation, oral skills, listening); written communication (writing skills, reporting, structure, summarizing); collaborative work (teamwork, support, loyalty, promise, presence); critical thinking (ask questions, check assumptions).

Course objectives

At the end of the program, students will be able to:
1. Identify and analyse the various theoretical and conceptual discussions about nation building and its related themes (such as citizenship, nationalism and patriotism, regionalism, political discourse, civil society, etc.).
2. The acquisition of knowledge and understanding of the Latin American nation building and also of the Latin American economic and political development in relation to the different forms of political regime.
3. Recognize of the historical periods and socio-economic and political changes in Latin America.
4. Identify the discursive evolution of nation building in Latin America.
5. Make a scientific bibliographic research with interactive presentations.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

The course consists of lectures (50%) and tutorials (50%; techniques of bibliographic research, individual analysis of scientific literature and student presentations).

Assessment method


The assessment method consists of written examination and a bibliographic review on a specific topic that during the course is treated (according to a list of topics). This bibliographic review will be made in groups of two students and consists of two parts:

A. An oral presentation of 10 minutes (5 minutes per student).
The aspects which are evaluated are: (a) clarity in the explanation (b) relevance of the chosen theme concerning de nation building (c) suitability of the keywords (d) proxemics (e) summarize skills. (f) quality of the employed resources.

B. Bibliographic review. This is a document of at least 6 and up to 7 pages, with a selection of specific bibliographic resources (books, journals, thesis, and dissertations) related to the chosen topic of the presentation.
The aspects that are assessed are: (a) coherence and clarity in writing (b) level of the contents analysis (c) quality and quantity of the collected bibliographical resources (d) proper use of bibliographic resources (e) lay-out.

C. Written exam with closed questions (multiple choice) and short open questions. The aspects which are evaluated in the short open questions are: (a) coherence and clarity in writing (b) quality of the content and argumentation (c) writing in academic language (d) summarize skills.


A. Oral presentation: 20% of the final mark.
B. Bibliographic review: 30% of the final mark.
C. Written exam: 50% of the final mark.


Resit exam takes place if the final mark is less than 6.0. Resit exam consists of a written examination, with the same assessment criteria as the exam.

Inspection 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 organized.

Reading list

  • ANDERSON, Benedict (1996). Imagined Communities. Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.

  • KEEN, Benjamin & HAYNES, Keith (2013). A History of Latin America. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 9th ed.

  • BAUMANN, Gerd (1994). The Multicultural Riddle: Rethinking National, Ethnic and Religious Identities (Zones of Religion). London: Routledge.

  • BAUMANN, Gerd & GINGRICH, Andre (2004). Grammars of identity/alterity: a structural approach. New York: Berghahn Books.

Complementary literature for specific issues of the presentations and bibliographic report (minimal 20 specific bibliographic references).
Also, additional articles on Brightspace.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte.
Registration Contractonderwijs.


Dr. M.G. Palacio Ludeña

Onderwijsadministratie: Reuvensplaats

Studiecoördinator: Tim Sanders


Attendance to the classes is compulsory. The student is allowed to miss a maximum of two sessions. In the case of more absences, the lecturer may decide to impose supplementary assignments on the student.

This course consists of 12 classes of 2 hours each, distributed in 6 weeks.

In this course Brightspace is permanently used to provide: the programme of the course; study materials (literature and PowerPoint presentation of each session); methodological indications and instructions; specific information about each college, and forms of the written reports and the research proposal.