LASP-489 International Organizations LA
Offered academic year 2017-2018
A. Rivero-Santos
International Organizations LA

The past two decades have witnessed the evolution of different movements and organizations that are challenging traditional conceptions of relations among nations in the Western Hemisphere as we have known them since 1945. What has brought about the emergence of these movements and organizations? Are we witnessing paradigmatic changes that will redefine hemispheric relations in years to come? What is the importance, if any, of these changes for the future of the Hemisphere?

This seminar examines the changing nature of inter-hemispheric relations in the 21st century. It will combine a variety of theoretical approaches and policy issues to illustrate and analyze the history and nature of these changes. It is designed for upper level undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing further research and/or careers in inter-hemispheric affairs.

Although the seminar does not presume a prior knowledge of International Relations Theory, it does presume knowledge of Latin American political economy and history and a reading knowledge of Spanish.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None


LASP-489-01 Inter-American System: OAS and the Inter-American Democratic Regime
Fall for 2017-2018
R. Perina
The objective of this course is to provide a better understanding of the inter-American system and the Organization of American States’ (OAS) role of promoting democracy and developing the inter-american democratic regime.

To that effect, the course will examine the inter-american system and OAS origin, principles, purposes, structure and functions, its legal and diplomatic instruments and the activities/programs the organization carries out in fulfilling its role. It will present different approaches to promoting and defending democracy from an international organization’s perspective.

It will identify the instruments generated at the “high politics” diplomatic level to protect and restore democracy when it is interrupted, and their applications in Haiti 1991, Peru 1992, Guatemala 1993, and Honduras 2009.

It will analyze other instruments available to the organization for “low politics” efforts, such as electoral observation missions, political observation/mediation missions, as well as technical assistance programs to strengthen institutions and promote democratic values and practices. It will also discuss instruments and actions to promote the observance of human rights.

The course will look also into the limitations and tensions (i.e., promoting democracy vs the principle of non-intervention) facing the OAS efforts, and will examine what critics have to say about this new OAS role.

At the end of the course, students will be expected to demonstrate considerable knowledge and understanding of the OAS' role in promoting and protecting democracy in the Western Hemisphere, and will be able to evaluate its performance in that regard. More specifically, students will be able to identify the Inter-American legal/diplomatic tools and activities the OAS’ member states have developed to perform that function, and critically analyze and assess their application and impact in particular cases or circumstances.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
More information
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