UCL Institute of the Americas


AMER0014: The Politics of Human Rights in Latin America: Challenges to Democratization

Module convenor: Dr Par Engstrom


This module provides a comprehensive introduction to the politics of human rights in Latin America. It introduces students to the principal analytical debates on human rights in the context of contemporary processes of democratization, and it examines the historical development of conceptions of rights and democracy in the region.

The module examines the role of judicial processes and courts in the politics of human rights in Latin America, and it explores a number of institutional dimensions related to the rule of law and state capacity to protect human rights in the region. It also assesses the nature of the multi-faceted challenges to contemporary citizenship, particularly as they relate to historically vulnerable groups in the region, with particular focus on issues related to gender rights, indigenous rights, rights of Afro-descendants, and children's rights. The module employs both a thematic, comparative approach and more specific case studies to examine the principal analytical debates. The module is inter-disciplinary, drawing on politics, law and anthropology.

N.B. The module listed is offered subject to availability of staff, and may change without notice. The Institute will endeavour to enable students to take their preferred combination of modules subject to quotas and timetabling.

This modules is assessed by means of a 4,000 word essay.