UCL Institute of the Americas


AMER0009: Globalisation and Latin American Development

***NOT RUNNING IN 2023/24***

Module convenor: Dr Néstor Castañeda

Module description

This module examines different theories of economic growth and development and their implications for the understanding of the Latin American economic development. In particular, this module identifies some possible explanations of the current levels of economic development in the region and explore their relationship with global economic processes.

In the first part of the module, we explore the modern theories of economic growth and development, discuss the difference between economic growth and development, and the relationship between institutions and economic development. In the second part of the module, we focus our attention on the literature on institutions and economic development. In particular, we examine the role of historical institutional legacies and modern political institutions for economic growth, development, and inequality in Latin America. We explore the basic hypothesis that the quality of economic and political institutions has a fundamental role in the explanation of the development gaps among countries in the region. In the final part of the module, we explore the links between global and domestic processes of social and economic change. We examine theories on the impact of globalization on Latin American economic development and analyse how the region has responded to challenging global transformations. In particular, we focus our attention on different facets of globalisation and their impact on economic development: migration, trans-nationalism, urban development, security, multiculturalism, and environmental factors, among others.

We offer a multidisciplinary approach to development issues, so the module is taught by a team of scholars specialising in economics, political science, sociology, anthropology, and development studies. The module convenor will lead discussion for the first part of the module, before subject area experts take over for the special topics.

Module outline


Part I: Theories of Economic Development

1. Introduction: Economic theories of development and growth

2. Political institutions and economic development

Part II: Determinants of the Economic Development in Latin America

3. Historical legacies

4. Political institutions and development in Latin America

5. Institutions, poverty and inequality in Latin America

Part III: Special Topics in Latin American Development

6. Globalisation and development

7. Migration, trans-nationalism, and development

8. Urbanisation, crime, and development

9. Multiculturalism and development

10. Climate change and adaptive development