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Nation building in Latin America


Admission requirements

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


Brief introductory description of the course. Please include course subject and teaching materials used.
This course is about the nation building in Latin America since the colonial period: the ties with the mother country to on the eve of the independence and the different periods of nation-building that the region has known since the independence. Thus, the colonial State, the independence processes, the first phase of the State-nation building, of instability to consolidation and then the collapse of the oligarchic model. Then there are the two main forms of government from 1930: the corporate State and the neo-liberal State (both with democratic and authoritarian regimes). Attention is given to the interactions between economic, political, social and cultural factors, in the different stages of nation-building.
The course is also about the academic methods of analysis and research about the Latin American reality.

Course objectives

  1. The acquisition of knowledge and understanding of the Latin American nation building and also of the Latin American economic and political development in relation to the different forms of political regime.
    1. Learning to recognize of the historical periods and socio-economic and political changes in Latin America.
    2. Identifying the discursive evolution of nation building in Latin America.
    3. Making a scientific bibliographic research with interactive presentations.



Mode of instruction

The course consists of lecturers (50%); the other half is spent on tutorials (techniques of bibliografic research, individual analysis of scientific literature and presentations by students).

Course Load

5 EC = 140 hours in total. – Hours spent on attending lectures and seminars: 28 hours – Time for studying the compulsory literature: 40 hours – Time for completing assignments, whether in preparation at the college: 30 hours – Time to write a paper (including reading/research): 42 hours

Assessment method

The assessment method consists of a bibliographic report on a specific theme that is treated during the course (according to a list of topics). This report will be made in groups of two students and consists of two parts:

A. A presentation of 10 minutes (5 minutes per student).
The score of the presentation is equal to 30% of the final mark.
The aspects which are evaluated are:
1) clarity in the explanation
2) relevance of the chosen theme concerning de nation building
3) suitability of the keywords
4) ability to synthesize during the exposition.

B. Bibliographic report. This is a document of at least 8 and up to 10 pages, with a selection of specific bibliographic sources (books and journals) related to the chosen theme of the presentation.
The score of the bibliographic report is equal to 70% of the final mark.
The aspects that are assessed are:
1) coherence and clarity of writing
2) quality and quantity of the collected resources,
3) suitable use of APA system
4) formal presentation of the text.

Resit exam takes place if the mark of the bibliographic report is less than 6.0. Resit consists of a new improved version of the bibliographic report within a limited time.


Blackboard is used for providing study materials (literature and Powerpoint presentation of each session), methodological indications and instructions, specific information about each college and the format of the presentations and the bibliographic report.

Reading list

  1. KEEN, Benjamin & HAYNES, Keith (2013). A History of Latin America. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 9th ed.
    1. BAUMANN, Gerd & GINGRICH, Andre (2004). Grammars of identity/alterity: a structural approach. New York: Berghahn Books.
      Complementary literature for specific issues of the presentations and bibliographic report (minimal 20 specific bibliographic references).
      Also additional articles on Blackboard.


Registration through uSis

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte via:
Registration Contractonderwijs via:


Dr. P.A. Isla Monsalve
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 2061.


Class attendance is compulsory. The student is allowed to miss a maximum of three sessions. In the case of more absences, the lecturer may decide to impose supplementary assignments on the student.