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   Course Title    Evolution of the Political Models in Latin America
Lecturer    Valentin Petroussenko
Institution    Plovdiv University
Country    Bulgaria

I. Course Description

The emergence and development of political structures in Latin America is both a unique process and a phenomenon which implies to the richness on the global picturing of the current human society maturation as it is an implicit part in the regional public puzzling. This course provides students an opportunity to study a rather exotic policy analysis with approaches to comparative interpretation with processes occurring in their home democratic transition underway. Despite the peculiarity and disparity of Latin American and Eastern European regions the course will be centered on the examination of general trends of how political models appear and their consecutive follow-up in the specific country’s environment. In this case the main focus of the study will be placed on the interpretation of political mechanisms for the regulation of Latin American society during XX century. After a short historical background about leading trends of the Latin American thought and political practice after independence – namely liberalism and conservatism – followed by typical nationalism and more radical reformist tendencies and the illustrative "latino" populism. Most of these tendencies were European replicas as introductions of authoritative governmental models, which appended endemic dictatorships of the region.

The main emphasis of the teaching course will be on its concluding part, designed to expand the current situation of basic political models and concepts during the period of democratic transitions. Given the fact that the democratization of Latin America preceded that in Eastern Europe, this part will use such experiences and will work with alternative approaches and a critical evaluation of the consecutive crisis of the transformation processes. Accent will be put on surveying how traditional political structures are changed and replaced by new civic compositions of the societies eventually transformed.

II. Course Objectives

Students in this course will learn how to

  • identify, understand and use appropriately terms and concepts in history and political sciences;

  • understand the broad use of such knowledge and its application in a variety of fields in humanities;

  • apply expertise in scientific methods of research;

  • obtain skills on comparative inquiry and interdisciplinary approaches;

  • gain new insights on the events ranging from the remote Latin American region to their friendly home environment and realities ensuing aptitude of in-depth academic scrutiny.

III. Course Composition and Requirements

This course consists of 30 lectures presented during spring term and combines class topics discourse and individual assignments displayed as free discussions. Apart from completing the readings, students are expected to produce a final written assignment and defend it publicly as a form of oral examination. Knowledge of English (and in lesser extent of Spanish) is essential for the course.

The concluding assessment will take into consideration such factors for grading as: class preparation and participation (30%); individual case studies presentations during classes (30%); final written thesis conferred to the open audience (60%).

IV. Working Schedule

Ttile / Number of Lectures

  1. Founding of independent nation-states in Latin America    2

  2. Establishing of the liberal political model of rule (mid XIX c. - beginning of XX c.)   2

  3. In search of the Latin American national self-identity  2

  4. The struggle between the center and periphery of the continent - federal or unitarian state?   2

  5. Social upheavals and revolutionary changes since the beginning of XX c.   2

  6. Appearances of Latin American nationalism   2

  7. Nuances of the Latin American reformism   2

  8. Corporativist model on a Latin American way   2

  9. Phenomena of the military dictatorships   2

  10. Latin American integration and outer encroachments  2

  11. Leftists experiments and trends in the Latin American societies   2

  12. Social-democrat and conservative alternatives   2

  13. Transition from authoritarism to democracy  2

  14. Neoconservatism on the Latin American soil  2

  15. Developing emerging civil society practices   2

Total:    30


  1. E.Williamson - The Penguin History of Latin America
  2. T.E.Skidmore & P.H.Smith - Modern Latin America
  3. B.Keen - A History of Latin America
  4. P.Bakewell - A History of Latin America
  5. L.Bethell - Colonial Spanish America
  6. V.Bulmer-Thomas - The Economic History of Latin America since Independence
  7. J.Ward -Latin America:Development and Conflict since 1945
  8. S.Haber (ed.) Essays on the Histories of Bazil and Mexico
  9. A. Przeworski - Democracy and Market: Political and Economic Reforms in Eastern Europe and Latin America
  10. Lockhart J, Schwartz S.- Early Latin America. A History of Colonial Spanish America and Brazil
  11. Bushnell D., Macaulay N.- Latin America in the XIXth century
  12. The Human Tradition in Latin America (ed. by J.Ewell and W.Beezley)
  13. F.Katz (ed.) - Riot, Rebellion and Revolution: Rural Social Conflict in Mexico14.A.Burns - Latin America. A Concise Interpretive History
  14. C.Blasier -The Hovering Giant
  15. The Global Resurgence of Democracy (ed. by L.Diamond and M.Plattner)
  16. G.O`Donell, Ph.Schmitter, L.Whitehead - Transitions from Authoritarian Rule. Comparative Perspectives
  17. R.McDonald - Party Systems and Elections in Latin America
  18. C.Mills - The Power Elite
  19. Authritarianism and Corporativism in Latin America
  20. G.Almond,S.Verba - The Civic Culture
  21. J.Lambert - Latin American Social Structures and Political Institutions
  22. M.Needler - Political Systems in Latin AmericaPolitics of Conformity in Latin America
  23. Political Participation in Latin America
  24. Latin American Populism in Comparative Perspective
  25. Development Administration in Latin America
  26. I.Roxborough - Unions and Politics in Latin America
  27. D.Mabry - A Catholic Alternative to the Rvolution
  28. Populismo en America Latina
  29. L.Medina - Civilismo y modernizacion del autoritarismo
  30. R.M.Escamilla - Revolucion, clase dominante y el Estado
  31. H.Aguilar Camin- Despues del milagro

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