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State, public policies and civil society in Latin America


Admission requirements

To be registered as student of the (Research) Master Latin American Studies.


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 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 policies). This course also aims to deepen the students’ knowledge on various historical, political, social, cultural and technical aspects which are determining factors at the formulation and implementation of public policies in Latin America. They have to apply their knowledge of some mega-discussion on public policies to their individual research topics.


Collegerooster (master, 1st semester)

Mode of instruction

Lectures and individual presentations.

Assessment method

For Research Master students: Active participation during the tutorials, short essays, two oral presentations and paper.

For Master students: Active participation during the tutorials, short essay, two oral presentations.


Blackboard will be used to post all the necessary information about the course (programme, time tables, announcements, etc.). Also notices will be posted on interesting activities (such as Conferences, workshops, expositions, etc.), which are related to the themes analyzed during the course.

Reading list

A list of specialized articles on public policies which will be later announced at Blackboard.


Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply

Contact information

Prof.dr. P. Silva. Tel.: 071-527 5496.
Dr. M.L. Wiesebron. Tel.: 071-527 2063


Presence required