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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Politics

Undergraduate Course: Political Economy of Latin America (PLIT10121)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines power and governance in the political economies of Latin America. It offers an overview of historical trends and issues, such as colonialism and foreign intervention. It then explores contemporary challenges and opportunities related to sustainable and inclusive economic development through the lens of critical and political economy theories.
Course description This course begins by exploring historic issues and events related to the development of modern economies. Namely, students will explore the composition of pre-colonial economies and the political and economic impacts of colonization and US intervention through the lens of postcolonial theory, Latin American structuralism and dependency theory. It then explores contemporary issues related to power and governance from different political economy perspectives. These include informal labour, extractivism, migration, the environment, indigenous politics, narco-trafficking and the rise and fall of the Left. Throughout the course, students will be exposed to several cross-cutting themes including identity politics, human rights, global power politics and the changing role of the state in the era of globalization.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: International Political Economy (PLIT10018)
Students MUST have passed: Introduction to Politics and International Relations (PLIT08004) OR Politics in a Changing World: An Introduction for non-specialists (PLIT08012)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students who have not taken Introduction to Politics and International Relations (PLIT08004) OR Politics in a Changing World (PLIT08012), but have taken a similar course, should contact the Course Organiser to confirm if they are eligible to take this course.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 4 Politics/International Relations courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  30
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 90 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Essay proposal (optional)
One analytical essay, 2000 words (45%)
One policy brief, 2000 words (45%)
In-class participation (10%)
Feedback Students will receive feedback on the (optional) essay proposal within 7 working days of submission.
Essays will be returned with feedback within 15 working days of submission.
Students will receive feedback on their tutorial participation mid-way through term and at the end of term with their final participation mark.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the main areas of study linked to political economy in Latin America
  2. Engage critically with the work of political economy scholars, and evaluate their arguments
  3. Assess competing claims and make informed judgments about current complex issues related to fostering sustainable and inclusive economic development in the region
  4. Demonstrate their ability to present - in written and verbal form -- coherent, balanced arguments surrounding historic and contemporary issues pertinent to understanding power and governance in Latin American economies
  5. Use a range of research skills to plan and execute a research project on a specific aspect of political economy governance in Latin America.
Reading List
Mignolo, W. 2005. 'The Americas, Christian Expansion, and the Modern / Colonial Foundation of Racism,' in The Idea of Latin America. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing
Galeano, Eduardo. 1997. Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent. New York: Monthly Review Press.
Knight, A. 2008. 'US Imperialism / Hegemony and Latin American Resistance,' in Rosen, F. Empire and Dissent: the United States and Latin America. Durham and London: Duke University Press.
Gwynne, R. N. and Kay, C. 2000. 'Views from the Periphery: Futures of Neoliberalism in Latin America,' Third World Quarterly 21 (1): 141 - 156.
Perrault, T. and Martin, P. 2005. 'Geographies of Neoliberalism in Latin America,' Environment and Planning A 37: 191-201.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course students should have strengthened their skills in:
Generic cognitive capabilities (e.g. evaluation, critical analysis)
Communication skills
Autonomy, accountability and working with others
Keywordslatin america,politics,colonialism
Course organiserDr Julia Calvert
Tel: (0131 6)51 4752
Course secretaryMr Ethan Alexander
Tel: (0131 6)50 4001
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