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Issues in Latin American Foreign Policies


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students enrolled in the master programmes MA International Relations and MA Latin American Studies.


In this course, we examine the major issues that shape contemporary foreign policies of Latin American countries in their historical context. This includes understanding some of the main concerns that have shaped thinking about international relations in the region, including sovereignty, autonomy, and development. Among the topics we study are changing conceptions of security, processes of regional integration, the role of ideology in foreign policy, human rights, and the environment.
Through the lectures and student presentations, we examine a wide range of countries within Latin America and its subregions in order to understand differences and commonalities in foreign policy approaches. We will also see how Latin American countries have sought to develop their relationships with extra-regional actors such as the United States, China, and the European Union.

Course objectives

In this course, students will:

  • Obtain knowledge and insights into the historical factors that have shaped the formulation of foreign policies in Latin America;

  • Gain an understanding of the main ideas and concerns that distinguish Latin American approaches to international relations;

  • Learn to identify how historical and ideological factors combine with economic, strategic, and political objectives in the foreign policies of Latin American countries;

  • Gain an overview of the similarities and differences between the foreign policies of Latin American countries;

  • Obtain insights into the factors that shape how Latin American countries and regional organizations interact with extra-regional actors;

  • Be able to synthesize the above knowledge into an oral presentation and written work;

  • Develop skills in communicating scholarly information to a non-academic as well as an academic audience.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Assessment method

The final grade [100%] is composed of 3 parts:
1) 1 Research Essay (60 % of the final grade)
2) 1 Research Report (25 % of the final grade)
3) 1 Individual Presentation (15 % of the final grade)

To pass the course, the weighted average has to be at least 5.5.


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


The resit for the final examined element is only available to students whose mark of the final examined element is insufficient.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

The reading material will be made available by the lecturer via BrightSpace together with the syllabus. There will be no need to purchase books.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. R.C. Sheppard


The attendance in this seminar is mandatory. The students may not be absent in more than two (2) sessions. In cases where more lectures are missed, the lecturer may decide to impose additional assignments, or ultimately exclude the student from further instruction.
If you are not able to attend a seminar, please inform the lecturer of the course.