PO2LAT-Democracy, Development, and Diplomacy in Latin America

Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Tom Long

Email: t.s.long@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This course will survey the politics, economic trajectory, and international relations of Latin America. Students will be introduced to aspects of Latin American history that continue to affect the region’s politics and economy today. The class will then focus on key transformations that have taken place in recent decades: a shifting economic model, the re-emergence of democracy, and a new relationship with the United States. Finally, the class will explore salient aspects of politics in the region today with an eye of whether Latin America has arrived at another critical juncture.

To enable students to:
•Understand and analyse the broad political and economic trajectory of Latin America
•Understand key differences between Latin American countries
•Understand the evolution of authoritarian and democratic politics in Latin America
•Understand key events and concepts of international politics among countries of Latin America as well as between Latin America and the rest of the world

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
•Demonstrate a solid empirical grounding of past and present Latin American political trends
•Summarize, assess, and analyse competing economic development paradigms in the region.
•Show empirical and conceptual understanding of major international patterns, institutions, and actors in Western Hemispheric international politics
•Demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research using secondary and primary sources on key topics in Latin American development, democracy, and international relations

Additional outcomes:
Students should also
•Improve research and writing skills
•Improve their abilities to assess written arguments
•Improve their abilities to use historical evidence to assess competing theoretical claims

Outline content:
Content is indicative and may be subject to minor changes:
The course will cover historical and contemporary trends in Latin America’s political and economic development. Class sessions will focus on economic trajectories and development paradigms, the alternation of authoritarian and democratic political systems, and the role of international political and economic factors in the region.

Global context:
The course will place the political and economic trajectory of the region within a global context by highlighting the importance of external powers in the region as well as showing how changes in the global economy affected Latin American political and economic structures. At the same time, the class will analyse how Latin American countries adapted to and influence those global forces.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module will be taught by a series of 50 minute lectures and seminars, also to include a two-hour business meeting in the autumn term. A two-hour revision class will be held in the summer term.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 7 7
Seminars 8 7 1
Guided independent study 64 64 42
Total hours by term 79.00 78.00 43.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will write one 4,000 word essay on selected topics. Non-submitted essays will be awarded a mark of zero. This will account for 50% of the module mark.

Visiting students will follow the same assessments but only those enrolled for the summer term will sit the examination. Those visiting students who are here for Autumn term only but wish to gain full credits will also write a 4000 word essay in place of the examination, to be submitted by the first day of the Spring term. Visiting students who are only studying for half credits in Autumn/Spring term will submit one 4000 word essay in total.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    3 hour examination

    Requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    If a student fails to pass the year at the first attempt there is an opportunity to be re-assessed on one further occasion at the next opportunity in those modules achieving a mark of less than 40%. Students who are eligible for re-assessment have the right to re-assessment in all elements even if they have previously passed one of those elements. It is expected, however, that the majority of students would probably elect not to repeat an element in which they had already passed, in which case the confirmed marks would be carried forward.

    Coursework: Failed or missing coursework should be re-submitted by 1st August, emailed directly to politics@reading.ac.uk, AND submitted on Blackboard.

    Examination: Re-examination takes place in August/September of the same year.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding: There may be optional costs associated with photocopying or printing sources listed on the reading list relating to this module. Please note that the Library charges approximately 5p per photocopy.
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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