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Latin American International Relations


Admission requirements

The course is part of the BA Latin American Studies program. It is open to students from other programs. Knowledge of the history of the region is recommended.


After a brief introduction to basic IR theories, the course examines a series of historical, strategic and geopolitical factors that are key to understand the development of Latin American international relations. It looks at how the Latin American countries have developed their interactions at the regional level, as well as at how these countries and the region are positioning themselves vis-à-vis important foreign actors, such as the United States, the European Union and China. The course pays particular attention to recent developments, such as the recent shifts in the political spectrum, the slowdown of the economy after a period of prosperity, the growing role of China, etc. These will be central to the seminar discussions. In addition, attention is given to key diplomatic initiatives deployed in the past decade in the field of economic and political cooperation and regional integration among Latin American countries, assessing their achievements as well as their current problems.

Course objectives

To obtain knowledge and insight about the actors and factors that are determinant in the development of the international relations of Latin American countries and the region.
To obtain knowledge and insight of the progress and difficulties experienced in the region, in the various attempts to achieve (economic and/or political) regional integration.
To obtain insights in the manners in which the Latin American countries interact with key foreign actors such as the United States, the European Union, and China.
To obtain insight in the ways economic, strategic and political objectives become intertwined in the foreign policies of the Latin American countries.

The ‘tranferable skills’ that are practiced in this course are:

Responsibility (discipline, responsible attitude, acknowledging mistakes)

Oral communication (presentation, listening)

Written communication (construction of argument, structuration, summary and synthesis)

Collaboration (team work, supporting, loyalty, meeting agreements, presence)

Critical thinking (asking questions, controlling presuppositions)


My Timetable

Mode of instruction


Assessment method


Group research project (30%)
Take-home exam (70%)


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


If the final grade (weighted average) is a 5 of lower, students are entitled to a resit. The resit for the gropu research poject entails a written report. The student may take a resit on the components for which she/he failed (the percentages remain the same).

Inspection and feedback

After publication of the results, the student may make an appointment with the lecturer to review and discuss the result of the examination.

Reading list

A selection of articles, book chapters and other materials, to be found at the University Library.

The final literature list will be made available before the start of the course.

Antonopoulos, P. and Cottle, D. (2018) ‘Venezuela’s 2017 Crisis: A Failed Bolivarian Experiment or a Legitimate Claim of US Imperialism?’. Critique, 46:1, 49-64.

Bernal-Meza, R. and Xing, L. (2020) China-Latin America Relations in the 21st Century : The Dual Complexities of Opportunities and Challenges. Springer International Publishing AG.

Caichiolo, R. (2020) ‘Mercosur: Limits of Regional Integration’. Erasmus Law Review, 12(3): 246-268.

Carpenter, K., & Tsykarev, A. (2021).’ Indigenous Peoples and Diplomacy on the World Stage’. AJIL Unbound, 115, 118–122.

Deciancio, M (2016) ‘International Relations from the South: A Regional Research Agenda for Global IR’. International Studies Review, 18: 106-119.

Domínguez, J. et al. (2015) Routledge handbook of Latin America in the World. New York: Routledge.

Haynes, J. et al. (2017) World Politics. International Relations and Globalisation in the 21st Century. 2nd Edition. London: Sage Publications.

Livingstone, G. (2009) America's Backyard. The United States and Latin America from the Monroe Doctrine to the War on Terror. London: Zed Books.

Lunde Seefeldt, J. (2020) ‘Lessons from the Lithium Triangle: Considering Policy Explanations for the Variation in Lithium Industry Development in the “Lithium Triangle” Countries of Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia’. Politics & policy, 48 (4): 727-765.

Mantilla, Y. (2020). ‘Indigenous Peoples' Diplomacy, Mediation, and Conciliation as Response to the I.C.J. Decision in the Obligation to Negotiate Access to the Pacific Ocean Case’. California Western International Law Journal, 51(1), 29-76.

Marshall Beier, J. (2016) ‘Indigenous Diplomacy‘ in The SAGE Handbook of Diplomacy. SAGE Publications Ltd, pp. 642-653.

Mori, A. (2018) EU and Latin America. A Stronger Partnership? Ledizioni – LediPublishing.

Scauso, M.S. (2021) Intersectional Decoloniality Reimagining International Relations and the Problem of Difference. London: Routledge (Introduction, Chapter 4 and the Conclusion)

Sharma, A (2021) ‘Decolonizing International Relations: Confronting Erasures through Indigenous Knowledge Systems’. International Studies 58(1) 25–40.


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

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  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Reuvensplaats


Attendance is mandatory for this course. A student may miss a maximum of three sessions. If that limit is exceeded, the lecturer may impose complementary assignments in order to guarantee the student meets the achieving levels of the course.