U.S. - Latin American Relations

This courses analyzes U.S.- Latin American relations during the so-called Imperial era (late-19th and early-20th centuries), the Cold-War years (1945-1990), and in the emerging, but not yet fully defined, Apost-Cold War period. We will read three books on U.S. policy toward Latin America generally, and one on U.S.-Mexican relations. We will attempt to identify the motives, interests, and forces that shape U.S. foreign policy objectives, the means with which the U.S. pursues its objectives in Latin America, and the responses of countries that are the objects of these policies, measures and initiatives. Among the internal factors affecting U.S.-Latin American relations, we shall look at ideological and cultural forces, national attributes and historical experiences, class forces, and conjunctural domestic economic and political factors; among external factors, we will stress geographic proximity, trade and investment flows, monetary structures, regional and international economic trends (such as demand levels, market prices, and interest rates), and political and economic conditions affecting one=s trading partners, etc.

The course will require active student participation. Students are expected to do the assigned reading and to come to class prepared to discuss it critically. Those who might be uncomfortable responding when called upon in class can write (type) our their questions and comments in advance, and be ready to clarify or elaborate upon them in class. In either event, class participation will make up 20% of each students= semester grade. Four multiple-choice quizzes, each worth 5%, make up an additional 20% of the grade. There will also be two take-home essay exams. This first of these is worth 20%, and is due on October 22nd. The second, worth 40%, is due on December 6th. Topics for these essay exams will be distributed three days in advance of the due date. Plagiarism (e.g., downloading material from the internet without proper attribution) will be treated harshly.

The following books should be purchased:

Lars Schoultz, Beneath the United States (paper);

V. Bulmer Thomas and J. Dunkerly, The U.S. and Latin America: the New Agenda (paper);

Gary Prevost and Carlos Oliva Campos (eds.), Neoliberalism and Neopanamericanism: the View from Latin America (paper);

Jorge Domínguez and Rafael Fernández de Castro, The U.S. and Mexico: Between Partnership and Conflict (paper);

Course Outline and Readings

1. Introduction (August 31)

2. U.S. Policy toward Latin America: a Tradition of Cultural Disdain (Sept. 2nd- Sept. 19th)

Readings (to be read in preparation for class):

For Sept. 2nd - Schoultz, Chapters 1 -2, pp. 1-38;

For Sept. 7th - Schoultz, Chapters 3 -6, pp. 39-106;

For Sept. 9th - Schoultz, Chapters 7- 8, pp. 107-151;

For Sept. 14th - Schoultz, Chapters 9 -11, pp. 152-219;

For Sept. 16th - Schoultz, Chapters 12 -13, pp. 220-271;

For Sept. 21st - Schoultz, Chapters 14 -17, pp. 272-331;

For Sept. 23rd - Schoultz, Chapters 18 and 19, pp. 332-386;

First Quiz - Sep. 23rd

3. U.S. Policy toward Latin America: U.S. - Latin American Relations in the post- Cold War Era (Oct. 5th - Oct. 21st)


For Oct. 5th - Bulmer-Thomas and Dunkerly (eds.), Chs. 1 (Dunkerly) , 2 (Domínguez), and 3 (Whitehead), pp. 1-71;

For Oct. 7th - Bulmer-Thomas and Dunkerly (eds.), Chapters 4 (Bulmer-Thomas and Page), and 5 (Fitzgerald), pp. 75-121;

For Oct. 12th - Bulmer-Thomas and Dunkerly (eds.), Chs. 6 (Cerdas Cruz) and 7 (Coatsworth), pp. 123-155;

For Oct. 14th - Bulmer-Thomas and Dunkerly (eds.), Chs. 8 (Steiner), 9 (Gamarra), and 10 (Joyce), pp. 159-225;

For Oct. 19th - Bulmer-Thomas and Dunkerly (eds.), Chapters 12 (Triana Cordovi), 13 (Pérez López), and 14 (Molyneux), pp. 247-310;

Second Quiz - Oct. 19th (based on Chapters 1-10, and 12)

For Oct. 21st - Bulmer-Thomas and Dunkerly (eds.), Chs. 11 (Suárez-Orozco), pp. 227-246, and Conclusion (Bulmer-Thomas and Dunkerly), pp; 311-326;

First Essay Exam due by Friday, October 22nd.

The U.S. as seen from Latin America (Oct. 26th-Nov. 11th)

For Oct. 26th - Prevost and Oliva Campos, Preface and Chs. 1 and 2, pp. 3-46;

For Oct. 28th - Prevost and Oliva Campos, Chs. 3 and 4, pp. 47-104;

For Nov. 2nd - Prevost and Oliva Campos, Chs. 5 and 6, pp. 105-142;

For Nov. 4th - Prevost and Oliva Campos, Chs. 7 and 8, pp. 143-174;

For Nov. 9th - Prevost and Oliva Campos, Chs. 9 and 10, pp. 175-214;

For Nov. 11th - Prevost and Oliva Campos, Chs. 11 and 12, pp. 215-275;

Third Quiz - Nov. 11th

5. The U.S. and Mexico : Partners, Subordinates or Victims? (Nov. 16th -Dec. 2nd)

For Nov. 16th - Domínguez and Fernández, preface, and Chs. I and II, p. 1-34;

For Nov. 18th - Domínguez and Fernández, Ch. III, pp. 35-52;

For Nov. 23rd - Domínguez and Fernández, Chs. IV and V, pp. 53-104;

For Nov. 30th - Domínguez and Fernández, Ch. VI, pp. 105-134;

For Dec. 2nd - Domínguez and Fernández, Ch. VII, pp. 135-56;

Fourth Quiz - Dec. 2nd

Second Essay Exam - due on Monday, December 6th, by 5:00 p.m.

Department of Political Science

Marquette University
Wehr Physics Building, Room 468
PO Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
(414) 288-6842 (phone)
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