Gaining their independence only a few decades after the United States, the nations of Latin America can be counted among the oldest constitutional republics in the world. In this they differ greatly from postcolonial nation-states in places like Africa and Asia. Yet paradoxically, scholars often characterize Latin America as prisoner of its colonial past, with fragile democratic norms and institutions and a tendency toward corruption and abuse of power. This course examines this purported tension between liberal ideals and authoritarian tendencies, to spark debate about major issues, events, and turning points in Latin America’s 19th and 20th Century political history.
This course is offered as a 3.0-unit seminar during the 2022-2023 year.