PSCI 347: Democracy and Development in Latin America
In the past two decades Latin America has experienced a twin transition: from non-democratic to democratic rule and from an inward-oriented, state-led economic development strategy to an outward-focused, market-oriented model sometimes called neoliberalism. These political and economic changes have caused social upheaval for many Latin Americans and have given many others new opportunities to improve their lives. This course will study the political, economic, and social changes that have taken place in five large Latin American countries--Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, and Brazil--since the early to mid 1980s. Hence, this course focuses on contemporary Latin American politics. In each case we will review the salient features of the nation's political history, explore the imposition of market-oriented economic policies, examine the transition to democratic rule, and consider the reactions to these changes from social groups. Prominent leaders of the transition to democracy and proponents of neoliberal economic policies will be profiled as will the contending political forces in the country and their perspectives on neoliberalism. Public opinion about economic policy and democracy will be considered. Prerequisites: sophomore standing. Enrollment limited.