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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.


This course examines the foreign policies of several Latin American countries. A series of historical, strategic and geopolitical factors are explored which are crucial to understand the international policies followed by these nations. The course pays attention to historical elements, but it also looks explicitly to recent developments, such as the political shift from the left to the right, and the slowdown of the economy after a period of prosperity. In addition, attention is given to key diplomatic initiatives deployed in the past decades in the field of economic and political cooperation and regional integration among Latin American countries, assessing their achievements as well as their current problems.

The course also explores the ways Latin American countries are positioning themselves vis-à-vis important foreign actors, such as the United States, the European Union and China.

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)

Course objectives

To obtain knowledge and insights about the actors and factors that are determinant in the development of the international relations of Latin American countries and the region.

To obtain insights in the ways economic, strategic and political objectives become intertwined in the foreign policies of the Latin American countries.

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.


Timetable LAS

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Seminar

Course Load

Total course load 5 ec=140 hrs.
Lectures: 13 hrs.
Seminar: 13 hrs.
Readings: 82 hrs.
Assignments: 12 hrs.
Exams: 4 hrs.
Exam preparation: 16 hrs.

Assessment method


Midterm: written exam open questions (40%)
Final exam: written exam open questions (40%)
Group presentation (20%)

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


Midterm: written exam open questions (40%)
Final exam: written exam open questions (40%)
Group presentation (20%)

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 student may take a resit on the components for which she/he failed (the percentages remain the same). In the case that both the midterm and the final exam were failed, the resit will then consist of one written exam with open essay questions that will replace both components (80%).

Exam review

After publication of the results, the student may make an appointment with the lecturer to review and discuss his/her exam individually.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • providing study materials

Reading list

A selection of articles, accessible by the University Library.
The final literature list will be made available on Blackboard before the start of the course.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in Engels and Nederlands

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte


For questions about the content of the course, you can contact the teacher:
Dr. S. Valdivia Rivera

Administrations Office: van Wijkplaats


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.