İzlenceler / SYLLABI

Latin American Politics – Evren Çelik Wiltse

Okuma Süresi: 4 dk.
  • Eğitmen: Evren Çelik Wiltse
  • Dersin Verildiği Okul: South Dakota State University
  • South Dakota State University Ders Kodu: POLS 447-HIST 492

Purpose and Scope of the Course

“Knowledge of self is acquired through the knowledge of others

This course covers the vast region of Latin America, as it increasingly becomes a globally prominent region. Most of the countries in Latin America have achieved successful transitions to democracy and are in fact consolidating their democracies. The region hosts some of the most competitive and dynamic economies in the world such as Brazil (among the Top 10 largest economies in the world), Mexico and Chile.  Latin American countries have been leading the global campaign towards more just, equitable, democratic and transparent regimes through a vast array of grass roots social movements.

Throughout this semester, we will trace the development and democratization trends in the region from early colonial period to the current era. After the initial thematic sections, we will look at individual countries. With its more than 550 million population, Latin America offers a rather diverse set of experiences. Specifically, we will look at MexicoBrazil, Argentina, Chile,Cuba, and Venezuela.

We like it or not, globalization impacts all of our lives. It is an important skill to understand the world, rather than be afraid of the unknown. Moreover, the Hispanic vote makes significant impact in the US elections, and the US has ever increasing economic, political, social and cultural ties with the region. Latin American Politics should be a useful point of departure, if you are interested in political science, global affairs, and the issues of democracy and economic development in the world.

Course Goals

  • Learning the fundamentals of Latin American political structures, from Colonial period to the modern era.
  • Understanding the common historical-institutional trends within the region, as well as the structural forces that cause significant variation.
  • Developing a solid and critical understanding of the US engagement in Latin America, and how it changed over time.
  • Applying the course material to current political developments in the region, with particular focus on Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Cuba, and Venezuela.
  • Being able to critically analyze the increasing global power and visibility of the region.

Components of Grade

Attendance & ACTIVE Class Participation
Pop Quizzes
Team Presentations
Book Review
Midterm exam
Final exam

Course Material

Aside from the books below, we will have some short/current articles, op-eds, etc. that complement the textbook. I will send you either their links, or post PDF copies on D2L.

  • Harvey Kline, Christine Wade and Howard J. Wiarda. 2017. Latin American Politics and Development, Westview Press, 9th edition, ISBN: 978-0-8133-5050-9
  • John Charles Chasteen. Born in Blood & Fire: Latin American Voices, A Reader. W. W. Norton, 2016.
  • Andrew Selee, Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico & the United States Toegther, NY: Public Affairs, 2018.

Web sources: www.freedomhouse.org for reliable information on democratic progress in the world, individual country reports on political rights and civil liberties.

CIA World Factbook, for basic political information of individual countries.

UNDP Human Development Index to gauge the state of socio-economic development in each country.  

Office of the United States Trade Representative.

U.S. Department of State

Sources on writing a good book review:

The SDState Writing Center


From Oxford University Press

From North Carolina Chapel Hill Writing Center


Flow of the Semester




Week 1: Introduction

  • Introduction
  • Why Latin America? Wiarda et.al pp.1-18

Week 2: History & Institutions I

  • Brief History
  • Wiarda et.al Chapter 2
  • The Mission (Movie)

Map quiz, in class

Week 3: History & Institutions II

  • Wiarda et-al Chp 3&4
  • Parts of Fuentes Documentary


Introduction: Dr. Evren Wiltse

Week 4: Political Economy of Latin America

  • Oxford Uni. Book, Chp. 7

Selee, Chp 1: “Bridge Across the Fence”

Homework: bring back flash cards with country info to class.

Week 5: US-Latin American Relations

  • Oxford Univ. book Chp 11
  • Dr. Maria Spitz Guest Lecture

Selee, Chp 2: “North America as a Shared Production Platform”

Week 6: MEXICO I

  • Wiarda Chp 18

Selee, Chp 3: “Production has gone up”

Homework: prepare 5 Jeopardy questions, submit them on D2L.


  • Shannon O-Neil on Mexico

Selee, Chp 4: “Creating Innovative Technology”

Week 8: BRAZIL I

  • Midterm
  • Brazil, Chpt 9.

Selee, Chp 5: “Energy Independence of North America”


  • Brazil Chp 9 continued

Selee, Chp 6: We’ve got a huge problem here”

Week 10: Argentina

  • Argentina Chp. 8

Selee, Chp 7: “Turning the Cosa Nostra into the Sopranos”

Week 11: Chile

Selee, Chp 8: “If I were to go back, I’d still be homesick”

Week 12: Venezuela

  • Venezuela Chp.13

Selee, Chp 9: “I Now Feel Welcome in this Country”

Week 13: Cuba

  • Cuba Chp.19 Dr. Wiltse, Cuba article

Selee, Chp 10: “A Tsunami of Mexican Talent”

Week 13: NO class-Thanksgiving

  • Dr. Florencio Aranda, SDSU Guest lecture

Seele, Chp 11: “We’ve Gone from Ethnic to Mainstream”

Week 14: US-Latin America Immigration

  • Dr. Christi Garst-Santos Guest Lecture

Selee, Chp 12: Vanishing Frontiers Prepare 5 Jeopardy questions

Week 15: last day!

  • Final class, review, Jeopardy!

Selee, Chp 12: Vanishing Frontiers Prepare 5 Jeopardy questions

Evren Çelik Wiltse, Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Siyaset Bilimi ve Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümünde Lisans ve Yüksek Lisans eğitiminden sonra University of Massachusetts, Amherst’de doktorasını tamamladı. Halen South Dakota Eyalet Üniversitesinde Doçent ve Siyaset Bilimi Programı Koordinatörü olarak çalışmaktadır. Kalkınma, demokratikleşme, Latin Amerika ve ABD dış politikası konularında yayınları bulunmaktadır. 

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