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Economic Processes in Latin America


Admission requirements

This course is open to BA students who have taken at least one course in a relevant area of specialization (i.e. in Latin American Studies) in the second year.


Social and political processes are influenced, if not motivated by economic factors. This course discusses the main tenets of economic development in the region, focusing on their impact on the social and political level. The course starts with a characterization of the economic development in Latin America in the 20th century until now. The bulk of the course then focuses on more current issues in Latin American economy such as the role of the State in the economy, the relation between the economy and the environment, monetary reforms and the role of foreign direct investment in Latin American economies.

Teaching materials used: readings and lecture slides

Course objectives

Academic skills that are developed include:
Oral presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using up-to-date presentation techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience;
3. to actively participate in a discussion following the presentation.

Collaboration skills:
1. to be socio-communicative in collaborative situations;
2. to provide and receive constructive criticism, and incorporate justified criticism by revising one’s own position;
3. adhere to agreed schedules and priorities.

Basic research skills, including heuristic skills:
1. to collect and select academic literature using traditional and digital methods and techniques;
2. to analyze and assess this literature with regard to quality and reliability;
3. to formulate on this basis a sound research question;
4. to design under supervision a research plan/paper of limited scope, and implement it using the methods and techniques that are appropriate within the discipline involved;
5. to formulate a substantiated conclusion.

Written presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured written presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using relevant illustration or multimedia techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience.

Transferable skills:
1. Critical thinking
2. Creative thinking
3. Flexibility
4. Written communication
5. Teamworking



Mode of instruction


Assessment method


  • Written examination with essay questions

  • Oral presentation.


To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following:
the final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average

(Written exam at end of course 60%; Group Presentation 40%)


In the case of resitting the final exam, students will be presented with an exam paper identical in format to the original exam. They will need to answer all questions.
In the case of essays, resubmission in the case of a failed assignment is possible. The maximum possible grade to be obtained for re-submission is a 6.0

Exam review

Exam reviews will be conducted on request by students. Results of first sit exams will be available no later than 3 days before the scheduled resit exam.

Reading list

Key bibliography:

Hira, Anil (2007) ‘Did ISI fail and is neoliberalism the answer for Latin America? Re-assessing common wisdom regarding economic policies in the region’. Revista de Economia Política, 2007, Vol.27(3), p.345.

Hira, Anil & Dean, James W (2004) ‘Distributional effects of dollarisation: the Latin American case’. Third World Quarterly, Vol. 25 (3), pp. 461-482.

Aubourg, R.W. et al. (2008) ‘Debt, Democratization, and Development in Latin America: Hoe Policy can Affect Global Warming’. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 27, No. 1, 7–19

Carneiro, J en Brenes, E.R. (2014) ‘Latin American firms competing in the global economy’. Journal of Business Research 67, pp. 831-836.

Cortés, Fernando (1997) ‘The Metamorphosis of the Marginal: The Debate Over the Informal Sector in Latin America’. Current Sociology, 1997, 45, pp. 71.

D'Andrea, Guillermo (2010) ‘Latin American retail: where modernity blends with tradition’. The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 20:1, pp. 85-101.

Doctor, Mahrukh (2013) ‘Prospects for deepening Mercosur integration: Economic asymmetry and Institutional deficits’. Review of International Political Economy, 20:3, pp. 515-540.

ECLAC (2015) Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2015 (Part C)

ECLAC (2015b) Foreign Direct Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean 2015 Chapter 1

Grugel, Jean and P´ıa Riggirozzi (2012) ‘Post-neoliberalism in Latin America: Rebuilding and Reclaiming the State after Crisis’. Development and Change 43(1), pp. 1–21.

R. Jenkins (2012) ‘Latin America and China: a new dependency?’, Third World Quarterly, 33 (7), pp.1337-1358

O’Dougherty, M. (1999) *‘The Devalued State and the Nation: Neoliberalism and the Moral Economy Discoutrse of the Brazillian Middle Class, 1986-1994’, *Latin American Perspectives, 26, p. 151.

Pantelić, Ana (2011) ‘A comparative analysis of microfinance and conditional cash transfers in Latin America’. Development in Practice, 21:6, pp. 790-805.

Paus, E. (2009) ‘The Rise of China: Implications for Latin American Development’. Development Policy Review, 2009, 27 (4), pp. 419-456

Tezanos et al. (2013) ‘Inequality, Aid and Growth: Macroeconomic impact of aid grants and loans in Latin America and the Caribbean’. Journal of Applied Economics, Vol XVI, No. 1, pp. 153-177.

It is recommended, though not essential, that students review the readings cited above prior to the commencement of the course. The readings are available via the library and online.


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

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Contractonderwijs


Prof.dr. E. Amann

Education Administration Office: Reuvensplaats

Coordinator of Studies: Tim Sanders


Not applicable.