GV444      Half Unit
Democracy and Development in Latin America

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Francesco Panizza CON 5.12


This course is available on the MPA in European Public and Economic Policy, MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MSc in Comparative Politics, MSc in Global Politics and MSc in Global Politics (Global Civil Society). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Other postgraduate students may follow the course with permission.

Course content

The course studies the relations between democracy and economic reform in contemporary Latin America. It starts mid-point through the period under study, in 1994, when there was a strong consensus about the mutually reinforcing benefits of liberal democracy, free market economics and hemispheric trade integration. It then traces back the origins of this consensus to the 1980s and discusses how it was generated  by looking at the role of ideas, interests and institutions in processes of economic change. The second part of the course looks at the backlash against free market economics (also know as neoliberalism) and the rise of the left in the early 21st century as an alternative to neoliberalism. The final three sessions look at the social and economic transformation of the region in the 21st century, including the impact of the commodity boom, the rise of a new middle class and the increasing importance of economic relations with China and other Asian countries.  


10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT. 1 hour of lectures and 1 hour and 30 minutes of seminars in the ST.

Students on this course will have a reading week in week 6 of the LT for dissertation preparation and advice.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to submit two non-assessed essays and make at least one seminar presentation.

Indicative reading

ECLAC, Preliminary Overview of the Economies of Latin America and the Caribbean 2015 (www.cepal.org); ECLAC Social Panorama of Latin America 2015 (www.cepal.org);  Schneider, B. R. (2013) Hierarchical Capitalism in Latin America, Cambridge University Press;   D. Green (2003) Silent Revolution. The Rise and Crisis of Market Economics in Latin America, London: Latin American Bureau; Levitsky, S. & Roberts K.M. (2011) The Resurgence of the Latin American Left, Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press; G. A. Flores Macias (2012)  After Neoliberalism? The Left and Economic Reforms in Latin America, Oxford University Press;  Panizza,F.(2009) Contemporary Latin America: Development and Democracy Beyond the Washington Consensus, London, Zed Books; Grugel, J. and P. Riggirozzi (2009) Governance After Neoliberalism in Latin America, Palgrave MacMillan. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. et al (2013) Economic Mobility and the Rise of the Latin American Middle Class, Washington D.C., The World Bank ; Arson, C. J. and J. Heine (2014) Reaching Across the Pacific: Latin America and Asia in the New Century, Washington D.C., Woodrow Wilson Centre.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 21.8
Merit 54.5
Pass 23.6
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2014/15: 21

Average class size 2014/15: 11

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication