10 ECTS Credits – Autumn term

Compulsory for students undertaking the Latin America pathway; optional for other students.

Aims and Objectives

The course will develop a nuanced understanding of the contemporary human rights challenges in Latin America by considering the cases of key actors confronting the issues. It will seek to understand the myriad of processes of change that are affecting the region. 

Module Outline

The first part of the course looks at how the region has emerged from authoritarian regimes and is now in a process of democratisation, identifies the principal human rights challenges and evaluates the human rights commitments represented by recent Constitutions, court decisions and pronouncements of the Inter-American human rights system. The second part looks at some of the major actors advancing a progressive agenda, in particular indigenous peoples, Afro-Latin Americans and women. The concluding section considers how Latin American states are dealing with the challenges of poverty, inequalities, increasing environmental issues and economic models driven by resource extraction and agri-business and considers their implication for human rights.

Seminars will be thematic and analytical giving students the chance to have an overall understanding of key issues. Specific case or country examples will be used to deepen understanding.


2 x 3000 word essays = 90% of the total grade.
Seminar participation = 10% of the total grade.

This module is ordinarily taught on Mondays from 3pm to 5pm.  It is taught by Dr Julian Burger.