This class is organized around 20 questions (which I find endlessly hilarious). I am responsible for 10 minute presentations on the following questions:
- Are recent democratic transitions in Latin America better explained by domestic or international factors? (I asked a version of this question to my 12th graders last year at BSGE- my answer will be a bit more complex)
- How useful do you find O'Donnell's concept of 'delegative democracy' for understanding the political system of Argentina? ( I ended up reading the article referenced in May while doing background reading for this class)
- Have the media helped or hindered the process of democratization in Latin America? ( I have no idea. Didn't really think about this before innrhis fashion....)
- "The Colombian state is often described as weak, yet it could hardly sustain such an assault from its opponents if it did not have significant sources of strength." Discuss. (What? Everything I know about the history of Colombia I have learned from students doing historical investigations on La violencia which I still don't really understand. And isn't what's being asked about anyway)
I mentioned that I have to write a paper too. The paper topic has to be one of the 20 questions. Since I intend to teach Chile next year, I'm clearly doing the Chile question - On almost all economic and political indicators Chile looks better than any other country in Latin America. Why then is there cause for concern over the quality of democracy in Chile?
lots to think about.