Cursos / 1º Ciclo / Faculty of Law :: International Relations

Versao Portuguesa


3º curricular year
Semestralidade: 1st semester


Leading Teacher: Prof. Doutora Joana Castro Pereira
Assistant Professor: Prof. Doutora Joana Castro Pereira

Class type and School hours

Orientação Tutorial : 1 Horas
Teórico-prática : 2 Horas

Main Aims/Objectives

This course aims to introduce students to some of the most important problems and debates about Latin American politics, economics and society after the Second World War, as well as the role of the region in today’s globalized world.

Specific Aims/Objectives

It is intended that students are able to identify the main political, economic and social characteristics of Latin America, and critically analyze the problems and challenges that this region is facing today, the relations among the various Latin American states and their attitude towards the US, the EU and China. This course also seeks to promote reflection on the future of Latin America.

Skills to be acquired

At the end of the course, students should be able to think critically about key patterns of political, economic and social development in Latin America, regional integration processes and foreign policy guidelines of the various Latin American states, situating the region in the context of globalization.

Teaching Procedures

Classes will be as interactive as possible. Reflection and debate in the classroom, written works and the analysis of documents, using audiovisual media whenever possible, will be encouraged. In class tutorial the teacher will guide each student, in order to clarify doubts and supervise the development of the academic work.


Part I – Latin America: introduction and historical background
I.1. Interpretations of Latin America
I.2. Latin America from Independence to the 1930s
I.3. Latin America from the 1930s to the 1980s

Part II – Politics, economics and society
II.1. Institutions, processes and actors
II.1.1. Challenges facing democratic consolidation
II.1.2. Established political actors
II.2. Political ideas and identities
II.2.1. Ideas and themes from the political Left
II.2.2. Ideas and themes from the political Right
II.3. Economic ideas
II.3.1. State-led industrialization
II.3.2. The era of market reforms
II.3.3. Latin American economics in the first decade of the 21st century
II.4. Cultural and social aspects
II.5. Case studies
II.5.1. Central America (Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica)
II.5.2. Argentina
II.5.3. Brazil
II.5.4. Chile
II.5.5. Colombia
II.5.6. Cuba
II.5.7. Mexico
II.5.8. The Andean region (Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador)
II.5.9. Venezuela

Part III – Latin America in international relations since the 1990s
III.1. Relations among Latin American states and the processes of regional integration
III.2. Latin America and the US
III.3. Latin America, Europe and Asia
III.4. Latin American foreign policy: case studies
III.4.1. Argentina
III.4.2. Bolivia
III.4.3. Brazil
III.4.4. Chile
III.4.5. Colombia
III.4.6. Mexico
III.4.7. Paraguay
III.4.8. Peru
III.4.9. Venezuela

Part IV – Prospects for the future of Latin America

Evaluation Type

Continuous assessment includes:
. Two written tests;
. A written work and oral presentation;
. Attendance and participation in class.

Teaching Resources

. Computer and projector for slide shows and multimedia content;
. Articles and other documents related to Latin American politics, economics and society.


. Latin America
. Politics
. Economics
. Society
. Authoritarianism
. Populism
. Democratization
. Foreign Policy

Main Bibliography

Author SKIDMORE, Thomas E.
Title Modern Latin America
Edition 8.ª ed.
Place New York
Editor Oxford University Press
Year 2013
Author O’TOOLE, Gavin
Title Politics Latin America
Edition 2.ª ed.
Place New York
Editor Routledge
Year 2010
Author OCAMPO, José António; ROS, Jaime
Title The Oxford Handbook of Latin American Economics
Edition Reprint ed.
Place New York
Editor Oxford University Press
Year 2014

Complementary Bibliography

Author GARDINI, Gian Luca; LAMBERT, Peter
Title Latin American Foreign Policies
Edition 1.ª ed.
Place New York
Editor Palgrave Macmillan
Year 2013
Author WIARDA, Howard J.; KLINE, Harvey F.
Title Latin American Politics and Development
Edition 8.ª ed.
Place Colorado
Editor Westview Press
Year 2013