Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Citizenship and Democracy in Latin America
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 16 Hours. (16 x 1 hour)
Seminars / Tutorials 6 Hours. (6 x 1 hour)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   pre seen  50%
Supplementary Exam Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module, normally during the supplementary examination period. For further clarification please contact the Teaching Programme Administrator in the Department of International Politics. 

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

When the course is complete, students should have a good understanding of the following:

- the key legacies of Latin American politics in the nineteenth century
- the patterns of post-war political incorporation and exclusion in Latin America
- the nature of populism in the post-war era and its adaptation to the neo-liberal era of today
- the impact and viability of the revolutionary option for Latin America
- the role of civil society in contemporary political life
- recent developments in political discourse and strategies
- the salient and pertinent features of certain periods in the history of Argentina, Central America, Chile, Mexico, Peru & Venezuela.

Brief description

The module will give students a thorough understanding of different historical and contemporary models of political incorporation and participation in Latin America, and will expose students to a range of case studies.


The module is divided into three sections.

Section one - sets out the foundations of study in Latin American politics, exploring theoretical explanations and general trends concerning Latin American history, the dynamics of race and gender and two central mechanisms of political participation; patronage and citizenship.

Section two - focuses on three case studies which further explore the dynamics of participation. Argentina provides the case study for patronage politics, Chile provides the case study of citizenship and Nicaragua allows us to explore the themes of social rights and socialist citizenship.

Section three - explores some contemporary trends in participation, focusing on new modes of leftist citizenship in Brazil (Lula) and Venezuela (Chavez). We then go on to explore two contemporary challenges to democracy; the impact of corruption, and of new indigenous political groupings.

Lectures and Seminars

Section One - Essential Elements
1. Introduction
2. Latin America in the World
3. Race and Inequality
4. Gender
5. Patronage
6. Citizenship
Seminar 1 - Understanding politics and participation

Section Two - Case Studies
7. Patronage and Peronism in Argentina
8. Menemismo and Neo-populism
Seminar 2 - Patterns of patronage in Argentina

9. Citizenship and Class politics in Chile
10. Neo-liberal democracy in Chile today
Seminar 3 - Configuring citizenship in Chile

11. Violence and Repression in Nicaragua
12. Revolution and Democracy in Nicaragua
Seminar 4 - Struggling to participate in Nicaragua

Section Three - Contemporary Trends
13. Populist Left; Chavez in Venezuela
14. Participatory democracy: Lula's PT in Brazil
Seminar 5 - Citizen power?

15. Corruption and Disillusion
16. Indigenous Resurgence
Seminar 6 - Is Latin American democracy rotten to the core?


This module aims to introduce students to Latin American politics, focusing on questions of participation and domination. It will draw on examples from across the continent, but will focus on three case studies; Chile, Argentina and El Salvador.

Transferable skills

Students will have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of transferable skills which will help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas. Throughout the course, students should practice and enhance their reading, comprehension and thinking skills, as well as basic numeracy skills and self management skills. In lectures students will develop listening and note taking skills, as well as analytical skills. In seminars students will enhance their analytical skills and will practice listening, explaining and debating skills, as well as team work and problem solving. Essay writing will encourage students to practice their independent research, writing and IT skills, and the examination will test these skills under time constraint conditions.


This module is at CQFW Level 6