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Nation building in Latin America


Admission requirements

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


This course is about the nation building in Latin America since the colonial period: the ties with the mother country to on the eve of the independence and the different periods 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. Then there are the two main forms of government from 1930: 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.
The course is also about the academic methods of analysis and research about the Latin American reality.

Part of this course involves tutorials about Academic Skills (Research Skills and Oral Presentation Skills) offered by the EAV

Course objectives

At the end of the program, students will be able to:
1. 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.
2. Recognize of the historical periods and socio-economic and political changes in Latin America.
3. Identify the discursive evolution of nation building in Latin America.
4. Make a scientific bibliographic research with interactive presentations.


Tuesday 11:00-13:00 hours
Thursday 11:00-13:00 hours

Mode of instruction

The course consists of lecturers (50%); the other half is spent on tutorials (techniques of bibliographic research, individual analysis of scientific literature and presentations by students).

Course Load

5 EC = 140 hours in total.

  • Attending lectures and seminars: 24 hours

  • Studying the compulsory literature: 35 hours

  • Completing assignments, whether in preparation at the college: 25 hours

  • Writing paper (including reading/research): 30 hours

  • Assessment: 26 hours

Assessment method

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

A. A presentation of 10 minutes (5 minutes per student).
The score of the presentation is equal to 25% of the final mark.
The aspects which are evaluated are:

  • clarity in the explanation

  • relevance of the chosen theme concerning de nation building

  • suitability of the keywords

  • summarize skills.

B. Bibliographic report. This is a document of at least 8 and up to 10 pages, with a selection of specific bibliographic resources (books, journals, thesis, and dissertations) related to the chosen topic of the presentation.
The score of the bibliographic report is equal to 35% of the final mark.
The aspects that are assessed are:

  • coherence and clarity in writing

  • quality and quantity of the collected bibliographical resources

  • correct use of APA system

  • lay-out.

C. Written exam with essay questions, equal to 40% of the final mark. The aspects which are evaluated are:

  • coherence and clarity in writing

  • quality of the content and argumentation

  • writing in academic language

  • summarize skills.

Resit exam takes place if the mark of the written exam is less than 6.0. Resit exam consists of an oral examination.


Blackboard is used for providing study materials (literature and Powerpoint presentation of each session), methodological indications and instructions, specific information about each college and the format of the presentations and the bibliographic report.

Reading list

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

Complementary literature
ANDERSON, Benedict (1996). Imagined Communities. Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.
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.
There is also complementary literature for specific issues of the presentations and bibliographic report (minimal 20 specific bibliographic references).
Also additional articles on Blackboard.


Registration through uSis

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte via: www.hum.leidenuniv.nl/onderwijs/alacarte
Registration Contractonderwijs via: http://www.hum.leidenuniv.nl/onderwijs/contractonderwijs/


Dr. P.A. Isla Monsalve
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 2061.


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