Tag: Latin America

Latin America Focus of Annual International Lecture Series

Political shifts, human rights and the impact of immigrants on the U.S. economy will be examined in Lawrence University’s 2011 Povolny Lecture Series in International Studies “Latin America: Past, Present and Future.”

Kenneth Roberts, professor of government and the Roberts S. Harrison Director of the Institute for Social Sciences at Cornell University opens the five-part series Thursday, April 7 with the address “Free Markets and Troubled Democracies: Understanding Recent Political Trends in Latin America.”  The presentation, at 7 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium, is free and open to the public.

Cornell University Professor of Government Kenneth Roberts

A scholar on the political economy of development, political representation and the politics of social inequality in Latin America, Roberts will examine the contradictory political and economic development patterns in Latin America and discuss how they relate to the trends toward political democracy and market liberalization that re-aligned the region’s politics — and its relations with the U.S. — at the close of the 20th century.

While Latin American governments have been historically more stable, more democratic and more respectful of human rights in recent times, political party systems are in disarray in much of the region, leading to support for anti-system populist leaders. Underemployment and inequality also remain sources of political unrest.  Over the past decade, support for U.S.-backed free market economies has eroded and political shifts have led to the election of leftist presidents in 10 countries, representing nearly two-thirds of the regional population.

Roberts, who earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University, has conducted grant-funded research in Chile, Peru, Venezuela and Argentina. He is the author of the book “Deepening Democracy? The Modern Left and Social Movements in Chile and Peru” and serves on the editorial boards of the journals Latin American Research Review and Latin American Politics and Society.

Joining Roberts on this year’s series are:

Jake Frederick, assistant professor of history, Lawrence University, “”Discovered and to be Discovered – The Creation of Latin America,” April 14, Wriston auditorium, 7 p.m.

Alexander Wilde ’62, senior scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C., “Argentina and Chile: Democratic Transition and Human Rights,” April 19, Wriston auditorium, 7 p.m.

Juan Carlos Romero Hicks, governor of Guanajuato, Mexico, “U.S.-Mexican Relations: A Mexican Perspective,” May 6, Thomas Steitz Hall of Science 102, 4:30 p.m.

Sarah Bohn ’99, research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, “Mexican Immigrants and the U.S. Economy,” May 9, Wriston auditorium, 7:30 p.m.

In conjunction with this year’s lecture series, a Latin America-themed film series will be shown in the Warch Campus Center cinema at 7:30 p.m..  Dates and titles are as follows:

• April 12 — “Walt y El Grupo” (Walt and The Group) USA, 2008.

• April 26 — “Matar a Todos” (Kill Them All) Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, 2008.

• May 3 — “Amores Perros” (Love’s a B*tch) Mexico, 2000.

• May 10 — “Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti” Haiti, 1985.

The “Latin America: Past, Present and Future” lecture series is sponsored by the Mojmir Povolny Lectureship in International Studies. Named in honor of long-time Lawrence government professor Mojmir Povolny, the lectureship promotes interest and discussion on issues of moral significance and ethical dimensions.

China’s Growing Influence in Latin American Examined in Lawrence University Address

With its ever-growing economic muscle and international political clout, China has quietly begun pitching itself to Latin and South American countries as an “alternative model to ending poverty,” threatening the United States’ long dominant influence in the region.

Gonzalo Sebastián Paz, lecturer in international affairs at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., tackles the increasingly important question of China’s role in the Western Hemisphere and its ramifications for American foreign policy Monday, May 22 in an address at Lawrence University.

Paz presents “Latin America and China: Dangerous Relations?” at 4:30 p.m. in Lawrence’s Main Hall, Room 201. A question-and-answer session will follow the talk. The event is free and open to the public.

Amid a backdrop that has seen China earmark billions of dollars for infrastructure, transport, energy and defense projects in Latin America, the United States dispatched Thomas Shannon, assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere, to Beijing early last month for discussions with Chinese authorities about their growing Latin American alliances. Shortly thereafter, Hu Jintao, China’s president, paid a visit to the White House to meet with President Bush.

In his address, Paz will put both trips into context by examining the expansion of China’s economic, political and strategic interests in the region. He will assess Chinese goals and discuss which Latin American countries are most receptive to China’s overtures. He also will discuss American interests and reactions to China’s new-found attention in Latin America and how that attention will impact future relations with the United States.

A recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, an OAS Fellowship and a Korea Foundation Fellowship, Paz has taught a course on the economic and political development of Argentina at The George Washington University since 2002. He previously taught graduate courses on the Southern Cone and Latin America at Argentina’s La Plata National University and the University of Salvador. He also has served as a consultant to the Inter-American Development Bank.

He earned both a law and master’s degree from the National University of Córdoba in Argentina.

Paz’ appearance is sponsored by the Lawrence Spanish Department and the Center for Latin American Studies at UW-Milwaukee.