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PL30568: The politics of democracy & development in Latin America

[Page last updated: 18 October 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Semester 1
Assessment Summary: EX 80%, PR 20%
Assessment Detail:
  • Group Presentation (PR 20%)
  • Exam (EX 80%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Aims: The purpose of this unit is to analyse in depth aspects of contemporary Latin American political, social and economic development. Theoretical frameworks for analysis will be applied to national case studies across the continent to allow students to assess democratic, development, risk analysis and current social and economic trends.

Learning Outcomes: On completion of this unit, students will be able to:
* understand the nature and limits of democratisation, and the forces which influence and shape it
* critically evaluate the link between economic, social and political development in Latin America
* apply theoretical frameworks to actual national case studies to evaluate current and future development.

Skills: Skills in critical analysis, conceptual thinking, precision in the use of written and spoken language, exercise of independent judgement, reasoned argument, effective communication in the target language, teamwork and the planning/conduct/reporting of non-quantitative research are developed and assessed in this unit.

Content: A series of lectures to give students the theoretical tools if necessary for analysis and evaluation of Latin American development, including theory and practice of democratisation, the role of the military, the relationship between democracy and economics, the post-Cold War, post September 11th role of the US, the impact of the drugs trade, and the role of civil society.
Students will apply theoretical frameworks to national case studies to evaluate the nature and limits of democracy, obstacles to further democratisation, conflict resolution and the nature and role of external influences. The unit is taught in Spanish.

Programme availability:

PL30568 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
  • UHPL-AYB18 : BA(Hons) Modern Languages and European Studies (French and Spanish) with Year Abroad (Year 4)
  • UHPL-AYB23 : BA(Hons) Modern Languages and European Studies (German and Spanish) with Year Abroad (Year 4)
  • UHPL-AYB20 : BA(Hons) Modern Languages and European Studies (Spanish and ab initio Italian) with Year Abroad (Year 4)
  • UHPL-AYB17 : BA(Hons) Spanish and Politics with Year Abroad (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AYB06 : BSc(Hons) International Management and Modern Languages (Spanish) with Year Abroad (Year 4)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.