LAS 312: Global Power and U.S.-Latin American Relations

How does power shape international relations? In this course, students will apply a social science perspective to the study of U.S.-Latin American relations. The course is organized around the concept of power, and how asymmetric power relations between the United States and Latin American countries contributes to inequality and in justice between states (global) and within societies (social). In this course, students identify and explore social science approaches to the global power structure and use theory to analyze five hemispheric challenges: unequal economic development, cross border displacement, insecurity, climate change, and global health inequalities. In addition, students explore how a social scientist's position in the global power structure shapes their perspective through a comparison of the main U.S. approach(realism) and the main Latin American approach(dependency). Students use the analytical tools and methods of social science to identify how U.S. imperialism shapes the five hemispheric challenges, and to connect imperialism to structural injustice at the international level. Finally, throughout the course, students reflect on their position in the global power structure and how they can contribute solutions to hemispheric problems.

Course Credits