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PL30728: The international relations of Latin America

[Page last updated: 05 August 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 2
Assessment Summary: CW 33%, EX 67%
Assessment Detail:
  • Presentation (CW 16%)
  • Write up (CW 17%)
  • PL30278 - Exam (EX 67%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
* To provide students with a clear theoretical and empirical understanding of the position of Latin America in the world;
* To analyse the main actors, structures, processes and constraints in the international insertion strategy of Latin American countries;
* To provide a descriptive and analytical account of the historical and political evolution of Latin America's international relations;
* To explore and grasp the significance of regionalism in the Americas;
* To supply an overview of the relations of Latin America with major international partners, namely the US, Europe, China and the other emerging powers, and the international organisations.

Learning Outcomes: Students who successfully complete this unit will:
* acquire a good understanding of the position of Latin America in the international system, its structures, processes and main actors
* have a good knowledge of the theoretical rationale for and empirical examples of the main political and economic partnerships Latin America has set up in the world
* have a good knowledge of the topical issues and debates in contemporary foreign policy and international relations of major Latin American countries and their possible evolution
* be able to assess critically the role and functions of key national and international actors and organisations in specific case studies.

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: Lectures and seminars will cover the following main topics:
* Latin America in the International system, past, present and future scenarios
* Relations between Latin American countries, and the importance of regionalism in the Americas (ALCA, NAFTA, MERCOSUR, Comunidad Andina, Comunidad Sudamericana, ALBA).
* US-Latin American relations
* Latin America and Europe
* Latin America and the emerging powers: China, India, South Africa
* Latin America in a globalised world: new groupings, multiple arenas, and shifting alliances (WTO, G20, Group of Cairns).
The unit is taught in Spanish.

Programme availability:

PL30728 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.