Dr. Jean François Mayer

POLI-379: Politics of Latin America 
This course examines the political structures and processes of selected countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Countries selected may vary from year to year. 
POLI-483: State and Society in Latin America 
This seminar examines the nature of politics in Latin America. A specific focus is placed on selective issues of state-society relations, and the emergence of new political forces and institutions in response to changes in the socio-economic structure of the region. 

POLI-681B/811B: State and Society in Latin America
This seminar seeks to explore influential texts dealing with the state, civil society, as well as relations between them in the context of Latin America. Students in this course will therefore tackle the literature analyzing the main political, social, and economic dynamics of countries in the region. Among other themes, the seminar examines changes in political regime types, transformations of economic development models, emergence of various civil society organizations, and evolutions in socioeconomic structures and political institutions of the region. The course draws upon a variety of case studies. This seminar utilizes various theoretical perspectives, including, but not limited to: neo-institutionalism, historical structuralism, political culture, and rational choice. The methodology privileged in this course is essentially qualitative.

Dr. Tina Hilgers

POLI 487C Patronage Politics
What is patronage politics and why does it occur? Constitutions, laws, and bureaucratic regulations exist to ensure that political and administrative processes guarantee the rights, freedoms, and equality of democratic citizenship. Yet, in much of the world, politics also works according to informal processes that seem to undermine democratic ideals: patronage, clientelism, nepotism, friendship, and other such practices personalize representation and resource distribution. In this seminar, we examine such practices across Latin America and the Caribbean to understand the social, economic, and political factors leading to their use, and how they intertwine with the formal rules.

POLI 487I The Politics of Violence of Latin America
This course provides an overview of Latin American history and development through the lens of violence. Latin America is one of the most violent regions of the world, where gang wars, drug trafficking, kidnappings, and femicides are the regular fodder of the news media. We will examine these direct forms of violence through the lens of the underlying structural violence – the marginalization and oppression of the poor masses inherent to local systems of governance.

Course Offerings

Presentation at the Third RELAM student conference - April 21, 2017

Presentation at the Third RELAM student conference - April 21, 2017