Dr Javier Pérez Sandoval
Course aims and objectives
This course explores the economic trajectory of Latin America along with the main challenges faced by the region from a historical and comparative perspective. In doing so, we use concepts and theories from economics, political economy and development studies, to discuss how policy and economic models have changed in Latin American polities over the last century. More specifically, we look at how the political economy of the region has been modified by external shocks and internal factors, paying particular attention at how the former have influenced the latter. While the course is centred around the overall regional patterns and trends, we do consider the differences and commonalities between individual country-cases.
Our central goal is to understand why the region has historically struggled to achieve structural change and reduce inequalities, discussing how these and other challenges continue to hamper development across the region. We will adopt a comparative historical approach, studying the main economic models that have been implemented in the region since the start of the twentieth century and assessing their impact on economic growth and inequalities. To conduct our discussions, we will adopt a political economy framework, which emphasises the interplay between the state, economic actors and economic structure.
This course is intended and designed for those interested in the political economy of the social and economic development of Latin America. It is primarily directed towards individuals registered for either the M.Sc. or the M.Phil in Latin American Studies, as well as towards the M.Phil in Development Studies postgraduate readers. Other graduate students are welcome to audit the class, as long as they send the course provider a request via email in advance.
A basic understanding of economic concepts is desirable but not required. A selection of special readings on economic and development concepts will be available upon request.
Essays and Tutorials: Students taking the Economics paper can expect to write at least two essay and undertake other individual and group activities. The essays will be around 2,500 words and the questions and reading list should be agreed in advance. The essays will be discussed in a bi-weekly group tutorial (time and day to be agreed). There may be other written assignments during term.
The course is taught in Hilary Term. Students will prepare for each class through a combination of core readings and other suggested material. These will be discussed in a two-hour seminar. Each student will also be expected to attend a group tutorial. Students should expect to spend around 12 hours per week in the course.
An online open-book examination in Trinity Term. Students will be given the exam paper two days before the due date for submission (Weeks 6-8 of Trinity Term). Candidates will answer three questions per paper out of a possible ten to twelve options.