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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Adrian C. Sinkler
POL S 322
Seattle Campus

International Political Economy of Latin America

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.

Class description

Description: In this course we will explore recent and historical trends in Latin American countries and consider how political action has affected economic development, as well as how economic development has constrained and enabled new forms of political action. In doing so, we will address both major substantive issues in the region as well as important theoretical debates that have informed the study of Latin American political economy. Why has Latin America “fallen behind” North Atlantic countries? Why are poverty and inequality such pervasive problems in a region with the potential for great abundance? Does economic globalization improve or hinder the prospects for economic development in the region? Upon finishing this course, students will be in a position to formulate answers to these questions and enter one of the central debates that motivates the study of this major world region.

Student learning goals

This is a course designed to develop academic skills, especially the ability to analyze and interpret theoretical arguments and apply these arguments to historical and contemporary issues in Latin America.

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Texts: Franko, The Puzzle of Latin American Economic Development; Frieden, Pastror Jr., and Tomz, Modern Political Economy and Latin America; and a course reader.

Class assignments and grading

Students will be required to take two in-class, short answer exams and to complete short in-class quizzes and writing assignments, which the instructor will use to calculate a participation grade.

Grading: Mid-term exam (35%); Final Exam (45%); Short Writing Assignments/Quizzes (20%).


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.
Additional Information
Last Update by Suman C. Chhabra
Date: 05/11/2009