PSC/IR 261 Latin American Politics

Political Science Field: Comparative Politics
International Relations Track: Governance of Nations (C)
Typically offered every 1-2 years

Adam Cohon
Fall 2015 ("W" Optional) — TR 11:05-12:20

Since the end of the Cold War, Latin America has undergone periods of both economic downturn and sustained growth. The region has seen more stable democratic regimes, however, than at any time in its history. The course begins with a brief overview of twentieth-century Latin American history. We will investigate the sources of democratic stability, whether a supposed "Pink Tide" has occurred, and remaining problems for democratic governance. We will also examine the relationship between contemporary politics and economic development and crisis, and investigate whether national economies have moved beyond chronic boom-and-bust economic cycles. Class will be a structured mix of lectures and in-class participatory exercises.

Gretchen Helmke
Fall 2012 ("W" Optional) — W 14:00-16:40

Course Syllabus

This course provides an introduction to political institutions and institutional reform in contemporary Latin America. The central theme of the course will be to focus on the emergence and functioning of key political institutions in Latin America, including the presidency, the legislature, the system of electoral rules, political parties, the judiciary, and the bureaucracy. The course will draw on a broad range of theoretical perspectives to analyze institutional choice and performance. In addition, the course will consider competing definitions of institutions, evaluate the trade-offs posed by institutional choice, and consider the prospects for institutional reform in the region.

Gretchen Helmke
Fall 2009 ("W" Optional) — W 14:00-16:40

Course Syllabus

This course provides an introduction to political institutions and institutional reform in contemporary Latin America. The central theme of the course will be to focus on the emergence and functioning of key political institutions in Latin America, including the presidency, the legislature, the system of electoral rules, political parties, the judiciary, and the bureaucracy. The course will draw on a broad range of theoretical perspectives to analyze institutional choice and performance. In addition, the course will consider competing definitions of institutions, evaluate the trade-offs posed by institutional choice, and consider the prospects for institutional reform in the region.