UCL Institute of the Americas


AMER0094 | Latin American Perspectives on Development

***Not available in 2023/24***

Tutor: Dr Enrique Castañón Ballivián

Credits: 15 | Year 2/3/4 | Term 1 or Term 2

What ‘development’ means and how it should be approached are questions that have been fiercely contested in Latin America. Intellectuals, scholars, and activists have engaged in fruitful exchanges that have produced a distinctive Latin American contribution to development theory. This module offers an introduction to these influential development perspectives and their relevance to understanding key development issues and challenges in Latin America. The first part of the module discusses the nature and influence of ‘classic’ and contemporary Latin American perspectives on development including structuralism, dependency theory, neoliberalism, neostructuralism, and eco-territoriality. Building on these theoretical discussions, the second part considers the relevance of these perspectives to analyse and understand major socio-economic, political, and territorial dynamics that are radically transforming the region’s landscape and development trajectory including extractivism, agribusiness expansion, rapid urbanization, and forced migration. It explores these complex dynamics comparatively through emblematic case studies in different parts of Latin America.


1,000 Word Essay (weighting: 20.00)

2,500 Word Essay (weighting: 80.00)