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Nation Building in Latin America


Admission requirements

Be registered as student of Bachelor degree at Leiden or another Dutch University.


This course analyses the nation-building process in Latin America: the meaning of nation and the different nation-building stages that the region has undergone since its independence. It discusses the colonial rule and its legacies, the independence processes—including the role of creole communities that developed early conceptions of nation-ness, the early phases of the nation-state in the region marked by instability, consolidation and the oligarchical republic and moving towards more contemporary developments such as the military and militarism, the transition from authoritarian to democratic regimes, the expansion of neoliberalism and reactions to it.

Particular attention will be given to the interactions between economic, political, social, and cultural elements in the different nation-building stages and evinced in the discourses that framed communion and sovereignty images. By tracing different nation-building approaches in Latin America, the course aims to provide students with enough theoretical tools to understand and situate ways of thinking about nation-ness in historically specific configurations in the region, assessing the resulting citizenship regimes, their socio-economic consequences, processes of resistance and insurgence, and their cultural and political drivers.

At the end of the course, students will have gained:

  • A firm understanding of the stages of nation-building in Latin America.

  • Scepticism about partial approaches to nation-building: recognising its multifaceted nature

Course objectives

  1. Acquiring knowledge and insight into nation-building processes in Latin America and the region's economic and political development concerning the different forms of government.
  2. Learning to recognise historical periods of socio-economic and political changes in Latin America.
  3. Identifying the discursive evolution of nation-building in Latin America.
    4.Conducting secondary research, e.g., literature review, and presenting findings.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

The course consists of a combination of lectures and tutorials. Students are expected to develop the critical faculty to identify various discourses that have guided nation-building processes in Latin America and discuss their different assumptions, norms, and implications for the diverse paths of socio-economic development in the Latin American region.

Assessment method

The assessment consists of a final exam, a presentation, and an annotated bibliography on a selected topic.


The final exam will be in the format of short answer questions plus a long essay question.


The final grade is determined by the weighed average: final exam (50% of the final grade), presentation (20% of the final grade), and annotated bibliography (30% of the final grade).


-The resit will take place if the final mark is lower than 6.0. The resit consists of a written exam and is equivalent to 50% of the final mark.

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

ANDERSON, Benedict (1996). Imagined Communities. Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.

KEEN, Benjamin & HAYNES, Keith (2013). A History of Latin America. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 9th ed.

Complementary literature for the annotated bibliography and niche topics/cases as available on the University’s catalogue.


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

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Dr. M.G. Palacio Ludeña

Education Administration Office: Reuvensplaats

Coordinator of Studies: Tim Sanders


Not applicable.