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PL31060: The domestic and international politics of Latin America in the 21st Century

[Page last updated: 02 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
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: EX80OR20
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Assessment detail for this unit will be available shortly.
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes: To provide accurate knowledge on the evolution of social movements over time in Latin America
To develop the analytical skills to be able to identify knowledge and viewpoints from specialised literature as independent learners
To analyse the main actors, structures, processes and constraints in the international insertion strategy of Latin American countries.
To analyse and critique social movements and international relations in Latin America
To develop analytical writing skills in Spanish
To advance speaking skills in Spanish.

Aims: To study the causes, evolution and legacies of social movements, transnational networks, and multinational institutions throughout the 20th and 21st century in Latin America. Students will also explore the links and overlaps between domestic and international politics in Latin America. This is an interdisciplinary unit that intersects political sociology and international relations through in-depth case studies in their historical context.

Skills: Skills in critical analysis, conceptual thinking, precision in the use of written and spoken language, the 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: This interdisciplinary unit intersects two vibrant fields of knowledge including international relations and political sociology. It aims to help students uncover the complex socio-political, empirical and conceptual problems such as collective action, leaders and leadership, political regimes, and quality of democracy, from multiple perspectives and approaches. Whilst the focus is contemporary, key historical social, economic, and political processes are discussed to provide students with a clear understanding of the position of Latin America in the world. In addition to the USA-Latin American relations, this unit analyses relations between Latin American countries, and the importance of regionalism in the Americas (ALCA, NAFTA, MERCOSUR, Comunidad Andina, Comunidad Sudamericana, ALBA) as well as the manifestations of populism and populist leaderships at both the domestic and international level. The originality of this unit is that it will study the feedback mechanisms between social mobilisation and political change at the intersection of the national and international levels.

Programme availability:

PL31060 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 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • 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.