Victor A. Menaldo
POL S 322
Exploration of politics underlying Latin America's economic development. Topics covered include import-substituting industrialization, mercantilism, the debt crisis, neoliberalism, market integration, and poverty. Review of major theoretical perspectives such as modernization theory, dependency, and the new political economy. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 322.
Why have Latin American countries been historically plagued by poverty, corruption, and inequality while other post-colonial states prospered? How did Latin American states develop over time, becoming increasingly more capable of taxing their populations, regulating their economies, and imposing their authority over their territories? What explains why, within Latin America, some countries are relatively well-off and increasingly governed by the rule of law, such as Chile, while others remain mired in poverty and cronyism, such as Ecuador? Where are Latin America's political economies headed in the future? This class uses the analytic tools of modern political economy and the empirical tools associated with sound causal inference to answer these questions. It does so by exploring the evolution and interaction of political and economic institutions in a several countries over a period of six centuries: from the Spanish conquest of Mexico to the present.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Lecture; discussion if appropriate.
Class assignments and grading
Essays; research paper; final exam.