Civil Society & Activism in Latin America (LACS*6070)
Code and section: LACS*6070*01
Term: Winter 2017
Instructor: P. Lupien
Welcome to LACS 6070. This graduate seminar will provide an analytical, critical and interdisciplinary overview of relevant sociopolitical topics in contemporary Latin America, with a focus on the role of civil society and collective action in reshaping the social and political landscape of the region. The first part of the course looks at the theoretical and conceptual frameworks that contribute to understanding civil society and social movements. The second section will examine a range of key sociopolitical problems affecting Latin America today and consider how civil society is responding to the challenges. The focus will be on political and social inclusion of traditionally marginalized groups and on how they have organized to promote their interests. The seminar will draw on case studies from various countries in the region that have experienced different historical trajectories.
Course Format and Requirements
Class sessions will be conducted in a highly participatory seminar format. Students are expected to actively participate in classroom discussions and activities. They will present and lead two discussions during the course. The participatory format requires that students attend class sessions on a regular basis, complete all assigned readings before our weekly session and come to class prepared to discuss and respond to questions. Students will be required to submit a research project in the form of a policy brief from the perspective of a social movement or civil society organization. They will also have the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of key issues through weekly critical reflections on the course readings.