Classes and Syllabi
Gerardo L. Munck teaches classes on Latin American Studies, comparative politics, democratization, and research methods.
Political Science (PS) 350:
Politics of Latin America
Latin America is the region of the developing world with the greatest experience with democracy. It has also had considerable experience with populist leaders, military rulers, and a few important revolutions. And it has been the region of the world in which the influence of the United States has been greatest. This course offers an introduction to politics in Latin America that addresses the variety of political experiences in the region. The course is divided into three parts. (1) It starts with a broad overview of the region that addresses the formation of modern states, nation building projects, the struggles to attain and maintain democracy, models of economic development (2) It turns next two countries (Chile and Argentina) that experienced military rule, took a strong stance on human rights, and served in various ways as models for the region. (3) Finally, it discusses two countries (Mexico and Cuba) that underwent revolutions in the 20th century, followed by prolonged periods of authoritarianism, and that currently face the challenge of attaining peace (in Mexico) and democracy (in Cuba). Where relevant, external influences, such as the role of the United States, are considered.