This course will give students an interdisciplinary understanding of contemporary development issues in Latin America and the processes of change induced by neoliberal globalisation. The first part of the course provides a historical overview of the region’s struggles to move from colonialism to independence and later from authoritarian to democratic rule, thereby building the foundation for a deeper understanding of the rise of leftist governments in the late 1990s and current dynamics. A second part then looks at some of the major issues that dominate people’s lives with a view to how these put a strain on the region’s peace and development levels. A final part concludes by considering how Latin American states have responded to neoliberal pressures in the attempt to balance economic growth and human rights. Specific country examples will be used to illustrate these challenges.