• Offered by School of Politics and International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Areas of interest Political Sciences
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

Latin America is no longer ruled by despots and generals. Democracy is the norm, whether be of the right-wing variety found in Chile and Colombia, the soft-centrism of Brazil or the harder left of Nicaragua and Venezuela. This course will explain the origin and nature of contemporary democracy in Latin America before delving into the challenges confronting representative democracy throughout the region.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon completion of this course, students will:

  1. Explain the different theories of authoritarianism seen in Latin America and be able to analyse and compare different patterns of authoritarian rule in the region;
  2. Interpret the canonical literature on democratic transitions and consolidation, and be able to use it to analyse political developments in the region;
  3. Classify the diversity of institutional arrangements found in Latin American democracies and be able to evaluate their significance;
  4. Critique the empirical reality of a range of political systems throughout the region and be able to analyse the implications for the future evolution of democracy in the region;
  5. Identify and evaluate the challenges confronting democracy in the Americas;
  6. Be able to complete a research project on an issue related to the core course material using a regional country as a case study.

Indicative Assessment

  1. A 2,500 word essay assignment (40%) -- Learning outcomes 2, 5, 6;
  2. Three 1,000 word ‘briefing memoranda’ on the course content (3x20% = 60%) -- learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

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One two hour lecture and one two-three hour video/discussion session per week. There is approximately six hours of independent study per week.

Prescribed Texts

There is no set textbook for this course. Each lecture is accompanied by a detailed reading list covering areas of theory and case study.





Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3054
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $4368
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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