This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies programme.
Limited places are also open for exchange students.
Please note: this course takes place in The Hague. Traveling between University buildings from Leiden to The Hague may take about 45 minutes.
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.
- Geographic and Cultural dimensions of Latin America
- The Spanish and Brazilian Colonial Rule: Features and Legacy
- Nation-Building during the 19th Century
- The 1930 Depression and Inward-Oriented Development
- Development and Underdevelopment in Latin America
- The Rural-Urban Divide in Latin America
- Women and gender relations in Latin America
- The Evolution of US-Latin American relations
- Military Regimes and Societal Reactions
- The New Social Movements in Latin America
- Democratization and Neo-liberalism in the 1980s
- Neo-populism and the ‘Pink Tide’ since the 1990s
The student has:
- Acquired knowledge and understanding of history, its processes, structure, actors, factors, and events, and has familiarised him- / herself with the academic understanding of history and the history specific to the chosen area, with an emphasis on the last two centuries.
Furthermore, the student has acquired a basic understanding of the theories used in the field of History and those with specific relevance to the Area History.
Finally the student has acquired basic research skills, which he/she has put into practice for the first time in the shape of a small individual research project.
- Acquired knowledge and understanding of the concepts and conceptual structures relevant for the study of history from an area perspective, i.e. local, national, regional but also transnational and from a comparative, international, and global perspective.
- A basic understanding of the methodologies used in the field of History. Both the methods and theories will be explained and activated through exercises based on the handbook common to all Area History courses and used for the overall History track in the programme. Robert Williams, The Historian's Toolbox; A Student's Guide to the Theory and Craft of History will be the common frame of reference. The student will make a first attempt to put into practice one relevant method in an individual research project.
The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.
Mode of instruction
Lectures are held every week, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Weekly lectures will cover issues both inside and outside the readings.
Tutorials are held once every two weeks, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Attending all tutorial sessions is compulsory. If you are unable to attend a session, please inform your tutor in advance. Being absent at more than two of the tutorial sessions will result in a lowering of your tutorial grade (30% of the end grade) with 1 point for each session missed after the first two sessions. Please note that being absent at any tutorial session may have a negative impact on the grade of the assignment due for that particular tutorial session. This is at the discretion of the tutor.
Total course load for this course is 5 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), which equals 140 hours, broken down by:
- Attending lectures: 24 hours
- Attending tutorials: 12 hours
- Assessment hours (exams): 4 hours
- Study of compulsory literature (approximately 7 pages / hour): 64 hours
- Completing assignments, preparing for classes and exams: 36 hours
- Midterm Exam:
Written examination with essay questions.
- Final Exam:
Written examination with essay questions.
To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:
- The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of Tutorial grade, Midterm Exam grade, and Final Exam grade.
- The weighted average of the Midterm Exam grade and the Final Exam grade needs to be 5.5 or higher.
- This means that failing Exam grades cannot be compensated with a high Tutorial grade.
If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6.0), or the weighted average of Midterm- and Final Exams is lower than 5.5, there is a possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier Midterm- and Final Exam grades. No resit for the tutorial is possible.
Please note that if the Resit Exam grade is lower than 5.5, you will not pass the course, regardless of the tutorial grade.
Retaking a passing grade
Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2018 – 2019.
How and when an exam review takes place will be determined by the examiner. This review will be within 30 days after official publication of exam results.
- Richard S. Hillman and Thomas J. D’Agostino (eds) (2011), Understanding Contemporary Latin America. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers (fourth edition)
- Enrolment through uSis for Tutorials and Lectures is mandatory.
Students will be enrolled for Exams by the Administration Office, as long as they have a valid Tutorial enrolment.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
When contacting lecturers or tutors, please include your full name, student number, and tutorial group number.