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Charles R. Hale, Director SRH 1.310, 2300 Red River Street D0800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512.471.5551

Henry Dietz

Professor Ph.D., Stanford University

University Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of Government
Henry Dietz

Contact

Interests

urbanization; poverty; voting behavior; democratization

LAS 337M • Intro To Lat Amer Gov & Pol

40610 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WEL 2.308
(also listed as GOV 328L )
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GOV 328L/LAS 337M – Latin American Politics

 

Prerequisites – GOV 310L and 312L

 

Description – the course assumes no prior knowledge of Latin America.  It begins with a overall view of the region, including its historical background, geography, economic and social characteristics, and the basic models of governance post-World War II.  It then examines several specific Latin American countries (including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru among others) and how these basic ways of governance have succeeded and/or failed.  The course then examines US-Latin American relations.

 

Grades – grades are determined by three exams (short answer and essay); each counts a third of the final grade.  Students may also write an optional paper that counts a quarter of the final grade.  The optional paper does not replace or count for any of the exams.

 

Texts (subject to change)

 

                Wiarda and Kline, A Concise Introduction to Latin American Politics

                Blake, Latin American Political Development

                Weeks, US and Latin American Relations

 

Flag: Global Cultures

LAS 337M • Intro To Lat Amer Gov & Polit

40815 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm MEZ B0.306
(also listed as GOV 328L, URB 350 )
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Course Description

Government 328L is an introductory course to the politics of Latin America.  It assumes no prior knowledge of the region, nor does it require any knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese.  The only prerequisite is GOV 310-312.  It does expect an open mind about how politics works, since much of the course will not be familiar to those of you whose experiences and knowledge of politics are based on the United States.

 

We begin with some introductory materials dealing first with the geography and history of the region, and then with some economic characteristics.  We then cover the major actors in the political arena, identify four basic models of politics, and then conclude with an examination of US-Latin American relations.

 

328L/337M is an overview course, and cannot cover every topic of interest or of relevance to the region.  In addition, the course does not pretend to investigate any single nation in depth.  The course does move along quickly, and while the quantity of reading material is not great, I will expect you to know the assigned materials thoroughly.  Therefore, it is an excellent idea to keep up with the readings.

 

Grading Policy

There are two mid-terms and a final exam; each is composed of short answers and an essay question.  These each count one third of your total grade and are not comprehensive.  You can also write an extra paper; you are strongly encouraged to see me about a topic.  This paper counts in addition to the three exams; it does not replace one.  I will factor in in-class participation and improvement over the semester.

 

Grading: final grades will be determined on a +/- basis.

 

 

Texts

 

            Blake, Politics in Latin America, second edition (2008)

            Wiarda and Kline, A Concise Introduction to Latin American Politics and Development (2007)

            Weeks, US and Latin American Relations (2008)

            *Reading by Charles Anderson, to be distributed in class

 

LAS 337M • Democ/Democratiz In Lat Amer

40383 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CLA 1.102
(also listed as GOV 337M )
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Course Description

This course deals with a vital aspect of current Latin American politics: the onset since 1980 of the widespread emergence of political parties, elections and procedural democracy throughout the area.  Much of the course will be concerned with what democracy is and how it can be defined; measured/observed, with the differences between democratic transition and democratic consolidation, and with how democracy might (or might not) be sustained in the region.

 The course assumes no prior knowledge of Latin American politics, and for that reason begins with a quick reading of a standard text on the subject.  The idea is to provide everyone with a minimally level playing field.  The course requires no reading knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese, although anyone who can read either language will find a wealth of materials available.

 

Grading Policy 

The course has as its major requirement a term paper of about 15 pages.  To write such a paper successfully, we shall proceed in stages, each of which you will be graded on.  These stages are as follows:

 -  hand into me no later than 1 March  a proposal, outline and working bibliography of your paper that contains your theoretical argument as well as your case study.  I will grade this assignment on the basis of your clarity of your overall argument, the appropriateness of your case study, and the completeness of your bibliography.  About 20% of your grade.

 -  hand into me no later than 27 March the first draft of your paper.  I will grade this draft for content as well as writing and return it to you.  About 20% of your grade.

-  hand into me your final paper 9 May.  About 40% of your grade.

-  the remaining 20% of your grade will come from your overall class participation and your oral presentation.

 Pluses and minuses will be used for course grades.  Students with disabilities may request appropriate assistance from SSD 471-6259.  There are no exams.

 

Overall Class Involvement and Requirements

 Everyone should come to each session prepared to facilitate discussion of the readings, meaning that you should be prepared to lead discussion if called upon to do so by having some questions ready when you come to class.  I may ask at any time to see such questions.  They can concern clarification (what you don’t understand), disagreement (what strikes you as wrong factually or interpretively), or confusion (an earlier reading said A but this says B).  As we progress, combining the readings on democracy with the case studies will become increasingly important. 

All class members should be prepared to discuss the readings in these ways. 

The readings for the class are of two types.  The first (Dahl) are theoretical or analytical materials that deal with democracy as a means of governing and as a procedure for acquiring power.  The second (Blake and Smith) are readings that deal with specific countries and/or the processes of establishing and maintaining democracy in Latin America.

The main goal of the research paper is to combine these two types of readings by taking some theoretical aspect of democracy and examining it within one or more specific Latin American nation(s).

The course is not a lecture course.  Rather, we shall discuss the materials together, building throughout the semester so that we can begin to see how Latin American nations have tried to devise ways of creating and maintaining democracy, and why some attempts have been more successful than others.

In-class participation is therefore an essential part of the course.  You should attend and involve yourself in what goes on.  If you miss classes, I’ll ask why; if you don’t participate, I’ll ask why and probably see to it that you do.  If you miss without an excuse more than once or twice, your grade could be affected.

You paper can consider any number of topics: conditions favorable to democracy; definitions of democracy; the structure and behavior of political parties; the roles of elites; a specific election and how and why it turned out as it did; the ability of democracy to improve (or not) the welfare of its citizens; the conditions under which democracy is most apt to success or fail.

In the end, the overall success of the seminar and of each student rests on your willingness contribute to the course.

 

Texts:

            Charles Blake, Politics in Latin America

            Robert Dahl, Polyarchy

            Peter Smith, Democracy in Latin America

LAS 384L • Latin Amer Urban Politics

40620 • Spring 2013
Meets M 330pm-630pm SRH 1.320
(also listed as GOV 384L )
show description

Course Description

This course is designed to offer a first glimpse into a huge area with a correspondingly huge literature - Latin American cities and their politics.  The term "politics" is interpreted very broadly so as to include students whose major interests may be sociology, anthropology, history, economics, public affairs, or any other social sciences and humanities.  The focus of the course is politics, but almost anything else is grist for the mill.

The course is designed as a research seminar, and as such concentrates in its readings and class discussions not only on the substantive materials dealing with Latin American cities but also with the question of how this topic can be investigated.  All seminar members will be expected to make an effort to develop a research question that has some theoretical importance as well as empirical interest.  To do this, we will take time to go through some of the basics in social science research.

Weekly topics include early urban theory as developed in the US and then transported to Latin America; macro urban theory and urban structure; rural-urban migration and its repercussions (the informal urban sector, squatter settlements); urban social movements; urban electoral politics; and the move since the 1980's toward municipal autonomy and decentralization.

 

Grading Policy

Two short (4-5 pp. double-spaced) analytic essays over a week's readings: roughly 25%

A major (18-20 pp.) research paper, including the preparation of a proposal: roughly 50%

Class participation, including in-class presentation: roughly 25%

 

The Short Essay

The short essay should be a synthetic and/or analytic summation, examination and comparison of the required readings for a selected week.  Let me make a couple of suggestions as to how to go about this paper.

  1. Do the several authors address a central question, problem, area, concept or concern?  What is it? How are the readings different in their approaches, treatments and conclusions?
  2. What do the readings tell us about a topic?  What do we end up knowing and not knowing?  What new avenues/questions are suggested?
  3. Are there major points of agreement/disagreement either among the authors or with previous weeks’ readings?

Avoid making a summary of the readings.  Instead, integrate them and discuss them in comparison with one another.  Summarize or quote briefly when necessary, but then go ahead and synthesize (“combine or compose parts of elements so as to form a whole”) or analyze (“separate the parts of the whole so as to reveal their relation to it or to one another”).

Feel free to inject your own opinions and evaluations and to provide justification for them.  If there are more than four readings in a week, you are free to limit your comments to four selections.  However, you should make it clear why you have selected the four you did.

For the weeks you select, you will serve as a facilitator of class discussion.  This does not mean that others do not do the readings, or that you have some formal presentation to make.  It does mean that you have some questions prepared to provoke discussion/debate/

argument and to lead that discussion as necessary.  Everyone is expected to be prepared for each week’s discussions.

The short essays are due the week following the assignment so that you can (if you wish) incorporate some of the class discussion into your essay.

 

The Research Paper

The paper is the main task of the semester.  Ideally it will combine two basic elements: first, the identification of a general theoretical or analytical problem, statement, proposition or hypothesis; and second, the examination of a case that is appropriate for the theoretical problem.  As we do the readings, I will try to point out – and to have you all point out as well – the sort of analytical problem I have in mind.  The whole point of such an exercise is to produce a paper that goes beyond being a case study of a particular city or event and becomes a paper of interest to readers who may not know anything about your case study but who may have a strong interest in the global topic you have selected.

For example: let us assume that your case deals with how poor people in Mexico City voted in the 2000 presidential elections.  This is a fine topic for your case study.  But I would expect you to frame this case study in a larger, theoretical statement.  To do so, you might begin by asking in general how low-income voters behave, or even more generally whether there is a correlation between social class and political behavior.  This opening would say nothing about Mexico City, but would have sketched in a topic that might be of interest to people who could care little about Mexico City but a lot about how/when/if social status affects political behavior.

We shall have a good deal more to say about how such research is carried out.  Papers should be about 18-20 pages.  A paper can be a traditional research paper; it can also be a research design or proposal, a bibliographical essay, an in-depth critical analysis of a set of readings, or something else.  If two students wish to write a joint paper, that’s fine.

One last point: you are due to hand in to me on or before 27 February a proposal for your paper.  This proposal should contain three elements: first, a brief (2-3 pages double-spaced) description of your theoretical problem and the case study you intend to use; second, an outline of your paper that shows how you intend to do what you say you want to do in Part I; and third, a working bibliography, which contains 1) items you have read; 2) items you have identified but not read; and 3) areas where you need sources but don’t yet have them.

Prior to handing in your proposal I will expect to meet with each of you during office hours at least a couple of times. If you have a firm idea, let me know; if you have no idea at all, let me know as well.

Class participation

Not much to say here.  The success of any seminar depends on involvement of everyone, and so live your lives accordingly.  I will have things to say throughout the course, but I will expect participation from all.  If after a couple of weeks you are not involved in the class, I will see to it that you are – fair warning! 

 

Texts

Alan Gilbert, The Latin American City (1994)

Packets of duplicated readings from Abel’s Packets (715 D West 23rd Street)

 

LAS 337M • Intro To Lat Amer Gov & Polit

40260 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm MEZ B0.306
(also listed as GOV 328L, URB 350 )
show description

Prerequisites

GOV 310L and GOV 312L

 

Course Description

An introduction to the politics of Latin America that includes a brief historical overview, discussion of social and economic conditions and principle political actors, along with several case studies. It also includes materials on US-Latin American relations.

 

Grading Policy

Three exams (short answer and essay); optional paper

 

Texts

Blake, Politics in Latin America 

Wiarda and Kline, Concise Introduction to Latin American Politics and Development 

Weeks, US and Latin American Relations

LAS 337M • Democ/Democratiz In Lat Amer

40210 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm GAR 0.120
(also listed as GOV 337M )
show description

This is an upper-division substantial writing component class that has as its major product a research paper (12-15 p). This paper will combine some theoretical materials (Robert Dahl's Polyarchy and other readings) with Latin American materials; the object is to take a logic or argument from Dahl and apply it to a specific case.  The course starts with reading an overview of LA politics, and then goes on to a close reading of Polyarchy.  All students will prepare a research proposal, a first draft of the paper, make an oral presentation of their research in class, and turn in the final paper.  Class involvement and participation are essential.         

Prerequisites -  GOV 310/312 required.  Some background in Latin American studies/politics preferred but not essential.

Grading:

Roughly - proposal, 15%; first draft, 20%; final draft, 30%; oral presentation, 15%; in-class involvement, 20%

Text:  Robert Dahl, Polyarchy; Charles Blake, Latin American political development; a set of duplicated readings

LAS 337M • Intro To Lat Amer Gov & Polit

40160 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm MEZ B0.306
(also listed as GOV 328L, URB 350 )
show description

                               Government 328L is an introductory course to the politics of Latin America.  It assumes no prior knowledge of the region, nor does it require any knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese.  It does expect an open mind about how politics works, since much of the course will not be familiar to those of you whose experiences and knowledge of politics are based on the United States.

 

We begin with some introductory materials dealing first with the geography and history of the region, and then with some economic characteristics.  We then cover the major actors in the political arena, identify four basic models of politics, and then conclude with an examination of US-Latin American relations.

 

328L/337M is an overview course, and cannot cover every topic of interest or of relevance to the region.  In addition, the course does not pretend to investigate any single nation in depth.  The course does move along quickly, and while the quantity of reading material is not great, I will expect you to know the assigned materials thoroughly.  Therefore, it is an excellent idea to keep up with the readings.

There are two mid-terms and a final exam; each is composed of short answers and an essay question.  Each exam counts a third of your grade.  I will factor in in-class participation and improvement over the semester.  In addition, you can write an optional paper (6-8 double-spaced pp.); you are strongly advised to discuss a topic with me.  

 

Any student with disabilities may request appropriate accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities (471-6259).

For purchase:

    Blake, Politics in Latin America, second edition (2008)

    Wiarda and Kline, A Concise Introduction to Latin American Politics and    Development (2007)

    Weeks, US and Latin American Relations (2008)

    Reading by Charles Anderson, to be distributed in class                                

 

 

LAS S337M • Intro To Lat Amer Gov & Pol

86122 • Summer 2011
Meets MTWTHF 100pm-230pm WEL 2.312
(also listed as GOV S328L )
show description

See syllabus

LAS 384L • Latin Amer Urban Politics

40790 • Spring 2011
Meets M 330pm-630pm SRH 1.320
(also listed as GOV 384L )
show description

This course is designed to offer a first glimpse into a huge area with a correspondinglyhuge literature - Latin American cities and their politics. The term "politics" isinterpreted very broadly so as to include students whose major interests may besociology, anthropology, history, economics, public affairs, or any other social sciencesand humanities. The focus of the course is politics, but almost anything else is grist forthe mill.

The course is designed as a research seminar, and as such concentrates in its readings andclass discussions not only on the substantive materials dealing with Latin American citiesbut also with the question of how this topic can be investigated. All seminar memberswill be expected to make an effort to develop a research question that has sometheoretical importance as well as empirical interest. To do this, we will take time to gothrough some of the basics in social science research.

Weekly topics include early urban theory as developed in the US and then transported toLatin America; macro urban theory and urban structure; rural-urban migration and itsrepercussions (the informal urban sector, squatter settlements); urban social movements;urban electoral politics; and the move since the 1980's toward municipal autonomy anddecentralization.

To be purchasedAlan Gilbert, The Latin American City (1994)Packets of duplicated readings from Abel’s Packets (715 D West 23rd Street)Assignments (see below)Two short (4-5 pp. double-spaced) analytic essays over a week's readings: roughly 25%A major (18-20 pp.) research paper, including the preparation of a proposal: roughly 50%Class participation, including in-class presentation: roughly 25%

LAS 337M • Intro To Lat Amer Gov & Pol

85435 • Summer 2010
Meets MTWTHF 100pm-230pm WEL 2.304
(also listed as GOV 328L )
show description

Course Description:

Government 328L/Latin American Studies 337M is an introductory course to the politics of Latin America. It assumes no prior knowledge of the region, nor does it require any knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese.  It does expect an open mind about how politics works, since much of the course will not be familiar to those of you whose experiences and knowledge of politics are based on the United States.
 
We begin with some introductory materials dealing first with the geography and history of the region, and then with some economic characteristics.  We then cover the major actors in the political arena, identify four basic models of politics, and then conclude with an examination of US-Latin American relations.
 
GOV 328L/LAS 337M is an overview course, and cannot cover every topic of interest or of relevance to the region.  In addition, the course does not pretend to investigate any single nation in depth.  The course does move along quickly, and while the quantity of reading material is not great, I will expect you to know the assigned materials thoroughly.  Therefore, it is an excellent idea to keep up with the readings.
 
Grading Policy: There are two mid-terms and a final exam; each is composed of short answers and an essay question.  Each exam counts a third of your grade.  I will factor in in-class participation and improvement over the semester. 

 

Textbooks:

    Blake, Politics in Latin America, second edition (2008)
    
    Wiarda and Kline, A Concise Introduction to Latin American Politics and    Development (2007)

    Weeks, US and Latin American Relations (2008)

    Reading by Charles Anderson, to be distributed in class

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