LAS 384L • DEMOCRACY, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND THE RULE OF LAW IN THE AMERICAS
2:00 PM-4:00 PM
This course will focus on recent efforts to consolidate and strengthen democratic rule in Latin America through reforms promoting governmental accountability and the rule of law. The seminar will begin with an examination of the theoretical issues raised by concepts such as "democracy," "accountability," and "rule of law." We will then look at a number of specific legal reforms that have been adopted in various Latin American countries, with some comparative reference to developments in the United States. We will conclude with a general assessment of the role of international law and international institutions in promoting these objectives in the Americas. The seminar will meet weekly in real-time video-conferencing sessions with a concurrent seminar offered at the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) in Mexico City. The sessions will include presentations by guest speakers from the Mexican government, FLACSO, and faculty members from various departments at the University of Texas. The course will also be tied to a two-day conference on the topic to be held at the University of Texas on September 9-10, 2005. An ability to speak and/or read Spanish is desirable, but not required for this seminar. Students will be required to complete a series of short critical papers responding to the assigned readings, as well as a longer research paper on a topic of their choosing. Student papers and other materials will be posted on the electronic Blackboard, with guest access to FLACSO students. In order to ensure that the students that are most likely to benefit are able to successfully enroll in the seminar, we are giving preference in enrollment to students who have some relevant background experience. To that end, please submit a brief paragraph setting out your interest in the seminar. Your paragraph should include any previous related courses that you have taken and any other related experience you may have. If you are able to speak or read Spanish, you should also provide a brief assessment of your level of proficiency. Statements are due in the Student Affairs Office, TNH 2.117, by Thursday, June 16, 2005 at 4:30 p.m.