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POL305 Lecture1.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Roberta Rice

POL305 Politics and Society in Latin America – 10-Sep-12- Lecture 1 Causes and consequences of the struggle for social justice in Latin America Why Study Latin America - Inro - Paradoxes - Strategies for Change Paradoxes - Latin America is both young and old o Think of conquest of 1492, which brought new groups together in a mixingpot of intermingling; a new social order  BUT if you think of Latin America in terms of nationhood, they are newer states; gaining independence in the 1830s - Latin America is both tumultuous and stable o Land of revolutions, but it’s actually quite stable, and conservative in its socio-economic fixations  Conservative= eg Prevalence of the church - Latin America is both independent and dependent o Eg “America’s Backyard” o Eg Export-Oriented Economies - Latin America is both prosperous and poor o Rich in natural resources and land  BUT is region’s poorest land (aside from Haiti)  MNCs suck it dry  Seemingly, prosperity is alluding them. o Most inequitable distribution of income in the world - Latin America is a leader in democratization, yet its democracies are fragile and ailing o Mid 1970s, third wage of democracies, where dictators fell like dominoes in latin America  BUT the democracies seem to be regressing - Highest criminal violence in the world Strategies for Change: Pathways - Electoral
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