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History: Latin America


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.


This course provides a general introduction to Latin America, emphasizing both the similarities as well as the main socio-economic, political and cultural differences existing between the various Latin American countries. Several key topics and debates about the Latin American development are analyzed from an interdisciplinary perspective. Hence, contributions coming from history, anthropology, sociology of development, economy and political science will be included in the overall analysis. The current developmental problems of this region are not studied in a static manner, but as being the result of complex historical processes, in which all kinds of social, political, economic and cultural factors have played a role in the course of time. In addition to the analysis of endogenous factors, particular attention will be given to foreign influences.

1. Geographic and Cultural dimensions of Latin America
2. The Spanish and Brazilian Colonial Rule: Features and Legacy
3. Nation-Building during the 19th Century
4. The 1930 Depression and Inward-Oriented Development
5. Development and Underdevelopment in Latin America
6. The Rural-Urban Divide in Latin America
7. Women and gender relations in Latin America
8. The Evolution of US-Latin American relations
9. Military Regimes and Societal Reactions
10. The New Social Movements in Latin America
11. Democratization and Neo-liberalism in the 1980s
12. Neo-populism and the ‘Pink Tide’ since the 1990s

Course objectives

This course aims to allow students to acquire new insights about the main socio-economic, political and cultural processes that are currently taking place in Latin America, from a long-term historical perspective. In addition, students will be introduced in the main academic debates which have dominated the discussions on Latin American development in recent decades. Finally, students will learn to look at a specific historical event making use of a series of analytical instruments coming from several academic disciplines.


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction

One two hour lecture per week; bi-weekly tutorials.
Attending lectures and tutorials is compulsory. If you are not able to attend a lecture or tutorial, please inform the tutor of the course. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final exam or essay.

Course Load

5 EC x 28 hours = 140 hours

  • Hours spent on attending lectures: 2 hours per week x 12 weeks = 24 hours

  • Hours spent attending tutorials: 6 meetings of 2 hours each = 12 hours

  • Hours spent covering the reading material: Approx. 500 pages = 50 hours

  • Hours spent preparing for exams,presentations, and writing of assignments = 54 hours

Assessment method

  • Tutorials 30%

  • Midterm Exam 30%

  • Final Exam 40%

If the final grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), there is the possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier mid- and endterm grades. No resit for the tutorials is possible.


Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis

Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

  • Richard S. Hillman & Thomas J. D’Agostino (eds) (2011), Understanding Contemporary Latin America. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers (fourth edition)) (ISBN: 978-1-58826-791-7).


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Prof.dr. P. Silva, email