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POL 225: Latin American Politics and Government

Course Description

This course introduces students to the study of 20th century Latin American politics and government. The vacillation between authoritarianism and democracy will be examined as well as the role of revolutionary change in the region.

Prerequisite

  • ENG 101: English Composition 1

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Comprehend some of the contemporary political problems affecting the region while gaining Latin American perspectives on political trends and movements.
  2. Analyze certain political, social and economic trends that affect the region as a whole.
  3. Examine the particular ways that some of these issues manifest themselves within specific countries.
  4. Identify different regime types in Latin America.
  5. Examine key forces and actors in Latin American politics.
  6. Identify and comprehend the major issues in Latin American politics.
  7. Understand the process of democratization in Latin America.

General Education Outcomes (GEOs)

Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.

Course Activities and Grading

AssignmentsWeight

Discussions

30%

Midterm Exam (Week 4)

20%

Case Study Paper (Week 7)

20%

Final Exam (Week 8)

30%

Total

100%

Required Textbooks

(Available through Charter Oak’s online bookstore)

  • Close, David. (2017). Latin American Politics. University of Toronto Press. ISBN-13: 9781442636927
  • Isbester, Katherine. (2011). Paradox of Democracy in Latin America. University of Toronto Press. ISBN-13: 9781442601802
  • Skidmore, Thomas. (2014). Modern Latin America. 8th ed. Oxford University Press. ISBN 13: 9780199929238

Optional Text

  • Winn, Peter (2006). Americas: Changing Face of Latin America and the Caribbean (3rd Edition). University of California Press ISBN-10: 0520245016 or ISBN-13: 9780520245013
  • Hillman, Roger. Understanding Contemporary Latin America (2nd Edition). ISBN-10: 1555878571

Course Schedule

WeekReadings and ExercisesAssignments

1

Topic: Introduction to Latin American Politics and Government

  • Learning Unit 1: Why Latin America?
  • Learning Unit 2: Legacy of Colonialism
  • Learning Unit 3: From Independence to Modern Latin America
Readings:
  • Skidmore- Prologue & Chapters 1 & 2
  • Close - Chapters 1-4
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review lecture material
  • Participate in discussion

2

Topic: The Major South American Countries

  • Learning Unit 4: Argentina
  • Learning Unit 5: Chile
Readings:
  • Skidmore- Chapters 9 &10
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review lecture material
  • Participate in discussion

3

Topic: South American Countries Continues

  • Learning Unit 6: Brazil
  • Learning Unit 7: Peru
Readings:
  • Skidmore- Chapters 6 & 11
  • Isbester- Chapter 10-13 (skim Chapters on Chile and Bolivia)
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review lecture material
  • Participate in discussion

4

Topic: Revolution and Reform

  • Learning Unit 8: Mexico
  • Learning Unit 9: Cuba, Colombia & Venezuela

Readings:

  • Skidmore- Chapters 5, 7 & 8
  • Close Chapters 5. 6 & 7
  • Isbester- Chapter 4,8, 9
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review lecture material
  • Participate in discussion
  • Midterm Exam Due

Midterm Exam
Learning Units 1-9

5

Topic: Latin America in the Caribbean

  • Learning Unit 10: Haiti and Dominican Republic
  • Learning Unit 11: Puerto Rico- An American Dilemma
Readings:
  • Skidmore- Chapter 4
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review lecture material
  • Participate in discussion

6

Topic: Central America: Turmoil and Transformation

  • Learning Unit 12: Central America I
  • Learning Unit 13: Central America II
Readings:
  • Skidmore- Chapter 4 repeat
  • Isbester- Chapters 5, 6, 7
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review lecture material
  • Participate in discussion

7

Topic: Areas of Special Concern

  • Learning Unit 14: Religion, Race, Ethnicity, Class and Women in Latin America
  • Learning Unit 15: Latin America and the United States and the World
Readings:
  • Skidmore- Chapter 14
  • Additional reading found in course Unit
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review lecture material
  • Participate in discussion
  • Case Study Paper Due

8

Topic: Conclusion

  • Learning Unit 16: Democratization, Economic Development and the Future

Readings:

  • Skidmore- Chapter 12 & 13
  • Close Chapters 8, 10 & 11
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review lecture material
  • Participate in discussion
  • Final Exam Due

Final Exam
Learning Units 10-16

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.