Inequality in Latin America
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Level: Undergraduate, Graduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy
Department: Milano General Curriculum
Course Number: NINT 5421
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
Despite the international economic crisis, most macroeconomic indicators point to a sharp decline in poverty and inequality in Latin America over the last ten years. The aim of this course will be to critically examine these recent trends. It will reflect on the structural challenges faced by the actors in the region to overcome its longtime questioned unequal and underachieved development. Covering the most widely used quantitative measures of inequality, special attention will be given to qualitative issues of rule of law, democracy, education, health, fiscal reform, informal markets, environmental justice, migration, and urbanization, all of which play a prominent role in the configuration of the region’s various scenarios. The course will begin by reviewing Latin America’s contemporary history in order to analyze the main causes that led to its unequal distribution of wealth and power in the 1980’s and 1990’s. It will then reflect on the importance of equality as a prerequisite for development and will introduce students to the most widely used ways in which it is measured, both quantitatively but mainly qualitatively. It will then analyze the most recent political, social, economic, and environmental trends in the region. At the end of the course, the students will be expected to present a detailed analysis of a Latin American country of their choice, where they will map out the actors, opportunities, challenges and policy/reform recommendations that should be passed in order for the current positive trends to be sustainable in the longer term.