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State, public policies and civil society in Latin America


Admission requirements

To be registered as a student in a (Research) Master programme.


This course focuses on the main developmental strategies and policies which are currently deployed by several Latin American governments to deal with major problems such as poverty and public security, and in the field of education. A selection of specific policies are analyzed in detail, looking at their formulation and implementation, achievements, and limitations. Also attention is given to the reactions and alternative proposals to these state initiatives coming from civil society, including social movements and non-governmental organizations.

Course objectives

Learn to analyze a specific historical, social and cultural situation in a wider perspective (i.e. the relationship between state and civil society, from the perspective of both the formulation and implementation of social/public policies).

To deepen the students’ knowledge on various historical, political, social, cultural and technical aspects, which are determining factors in the formulation and implementation of public policies in Latin America.

To apply their knowledge of larger academic discussion on public policies to the individual research topics.


My Timetable

Mode of instruction

Lectures and seminars

Assessment method


1) Paper (50%)
2) Brief presentation of paper (10%)
3) Weekly homework assignments (30%)
4) Paper proposal (10%)

The papers for students taking this course as part of their LAS Research Master are expected to formulate a research question that is strongly theoretically embedded and related in their case study to a key debate on Latin American Modernities (discussed in the ResMA core courses). To this end, ResMA students can request one extra individual meeting focused on helping them develop their theoretical framework accordingly.


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


The resit is (in principle) only possible in case of an insufficient final grade.
The resit for the final paper entails a revised version of the paper (50%).
The resit for the weekly assignments is a revised version of those assignments (30%)
The resist for the paper proposal and/or the presentation of the paper is a revised version of the paper proposal (20%). This new grade will replace both the previous grades obtained for the paper presentation and the paper proposal

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.

Inspection and feedback

After publication of the final results, the student may request an appointment for an individual review of the results.

Reading list

A list of specialized articles on public policies to be announced before the start of the course in Brightspace.


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

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Contractonderwijs


Prof.dr. P. Silva

Dr. S. Valdivia Rivera

Education Administration Office: Reuvensplaats

Coordinator of Studies: Tim Sanders


Class attendance is mandatory. Students may miss a maximum of three meetings. Depending on the number of sessions missed, the lecturer may impose complementary assignments in order to meet the requirements of the course.

Please notice that this course finishes mid-november, as the students of the MA Latin American Studies need to leave around this time for fieldwork for the thesis project.