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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Adrian C. Sinkler
POL S 342
Seattle Campus

Government and Politics of Latin America

Analysis of the political dynamics of change in Latin America comparing various national approaches to the political problems of modernization, economic development, and social change. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 342.

Class description

In this class, we explore the thesis of "Mexican exceptionalism" through a comparison of social and economic trends in Mexico with those of other countries in Latin America. Why did Mexico experience a social revolution when few others did at the end of the long 19th century? Why did Mexico avoid military dictatorship while so many countries in the region could not in the 20th century? Finally, why is Mexico governed by a center-right government when so many other countries in the region are experiencing the resurgence of leftist governments in the 21st century? In this course, students will formulate answers to these questions and enter some of the central debates that motivate the study of Mexican and Latin American politics.

Student learning goals

Improve the student's ability to analyze and interpret theoretical arguments about the causes of political and economic development.

Improve the student's ability to construct her own arguments and support them with historical evidence.

Improve student's understanding of different political systems and economic systems in Latin America.

General method of instruction

Lectures combined with in-class discussions.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Student grades will consist of two in-class exams(30% for each exams), and a final analytical essay (40%), all of which will all be graded on a 4.0 scale.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Adrian C. Sinkler
Date: 12/24/2011